The influential sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un warned the US that it would face a “more fatal security crisis” after Wahington pushed for UN condemnation of an intercontinental ballistic missile test.
Kim Yo-jong issued the warning hours after US ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield told an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council (UNSC) that Washington would circulate a proposed presidential statement condemning the North’s recent missile launches.
During the meeting, there were many calls for condemnation of the North’s first successful launch of the new Hwasong-17 missile, which is capable of reaching North America.
Ms Thomas-Greenfield read a statement by 14 countries that supported action to limit North Korea’s advancement of its weapons programmes.
Ms Kim, considered to be the second-most powerful person in the North, compared the US to a ”barking dog seized with fear”, while lambasting what she called “a disgusting joint statement together with such rabbles as Britain, France, Australia, Japan and South Korea”.
She added that the North would consider the US-led joint statement a “wanton violation of our sovereignty and a grave political provocation”.
“The UNSC has turned blind eyes to the very dangerous military drills of the US and South Korea and their greedy arms buildup aiming at the DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) and taken issue with the DPRK’s exercise of its inviolable right to self-defence,” she said in a statement.
“The US should be mindful that no matter how desperately it may seek to disarm [North Korea], it can never deprive [North Korea] of its right to self-defense and that the more hell-bent it gets on the anti-[North Korea] acts, it will face a more fatal security crisis.”
Earlier on Monday, North Korea's foreign minister Choe Son Hui called UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres “a puppet of the United States”.
The UNSC meeting was convened in response to the North’s intercontinental ballistic missile launch on Friday. Pyongyang has been testing a record number of missiles this year in what is seen to be a provocative tactic aimed toward the US to leverage in future diplomacy.
Friday’s test involved its most powerful Hwasong-17 missile, with some experts saying the successful steep-angle launch proved its potential to strike anywhere on the US mainland.
During the meeting, the US and its allies strongly condemned the missile launch and called for action against the North to limit its nuclear and missile programmes. Ms Thomas-Greenfield said it was vital that the 15-member Security Council respond with one voice.
However, Russia and China, both veto-wielding members of the UNSC, opposed any new pressure and sanctions on North Korea.
“These two members’ blatant obstructionism puts the Northeast Asian region, and entire world, at risk,” Ms Thomas-Greenfield told the council.