Kim Jong Un’s sister threatens South Korea with military action

Kim Jong Un's sister threatens South Korea with military action

The powerful sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has threatened military action against South Korea as she attacked Seoul over declining bilateral relations and its inability to stop activists from dropping anti-Pyongyang leaflets across the border.

Describing South Korea as an "enemy", Kim Yo Jong repeated an earlier threat by saying Seoul will soon witness the collapse of a "useless" inter-Korean liaison office in the border town of Kaesong.

Ms Kim, who is first vice department director of the ruling Workers' Party's Central Committee, said she would leave it to North Korea's military leaders to carry out the next step of retaliation against the South.

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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un provides field guidance at the construction site of Ryomyong Street in this undated picture provided by KCNA in Pyongyang on March 16, 2017. KCNA/via ReutersATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. EDITORIAL USE ONLY. REUTERS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THIS IMAGE. SOUTH KOREA OUT. NO THIRD PARTY SALES. NOT FOR USE BY REUTERS THIRD PARTY DISTRIBUTORS.Ê TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
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A woman works at the Kim Jong Suk silk mill in Pyongyang, North Korea, Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019. The silk mill, named after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's grandmother, is where more than a thousand workers – mostly women – sort and process silkworms to produce silk thread. (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara)
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un gives field guidance to the Kumsong Tractor Factory in this undated picture provided by KCNA in Pyongyang on November 15, 2017. KCNA via Reuters ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. REUTERS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THIS IMAGE. SOUTH KOREA OUT. NO THIRD PARTY SALES. NOT FOR USE BY REUTERS THIRD PARTY DISTRIBUTORS TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un gives field guidance to various units in Samjiyon County, in this photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang December 9, 2017. KCNA/via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. REUTERS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THIS IMAGE. SOUTH KOREA OUT. NO THIRD PARTY SALES. NOT FOR USE BY REUTERS THIRD PARTY DISTRIBUTORS TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un inspects the long-range strategic ballistic rocket Hwasong-12 (Mars-12) in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on May 15, 2017. KCNA via REUTERS REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. EDITORIAL USE ONLY. REUTERS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THIS IMAGE. NO THIRD PARTY SALES. SOUTH KOREA OUT. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Visitors walk before a viewpoint overlooking the North Korean shoreline (C) and the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) separating North and South Korea, on the South Korean island of Ganghwa on April 23, 2020. - The United States will keep seeking North Korea's denuclearization no matter who is in charge in Pyongyang, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said, amid speculation about leader Kim Jong Un's health. (Photo by Ed JONES / AFP) (Photo by ED JONES/AFP via Getty Images)
In this Nov. 26, 2019, photo, men wait for public transport near a propaganda photo showing North Korean 'soldiers-builders' in downtown Pyongyang, North Korea. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump have signaled their affection for each other so regularly it might be easy to miss rising fears that the head-spinning diplomatic engagement of the past two years is falling apart. (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara)
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is hugged by children during his visit to Samjiyon County in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang November 28, 2016. REUTERS/KCNA ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. EDITORIAL USE ONLY. REUTERS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THIS IMAGE. NO THIRD PARTY SALES. NOT FOR USE BY REUTERS THIRD PARTY DISTRIBUTORS. SOUTH KOREA OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN SOUTH KOREA. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
A woman works at the Kim Jong Suk silk mill in Pyongyang, North Korea, Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019. The silk mill, named after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's grandmother, is where more than a thousand workers – mostly women – sort and process silkworms to produce silk thread. (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara)
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visits a newly built sports goods factory in Pyongyang in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on June 2, 2016. KCNA/ via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. REUTERS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THE AUTHENTICITY, CONTENT, LOCATION OR DATE OF THIS IMAGE. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. NO THIRD PARTY SALES. NOT FOR USE BY REUTERS THIRD PARTY DISTRIBUTORS. SOUTH KOREA OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN SOUTH KOREA. THIS PICTURE IS DISTRIBUTED EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un inspects Samjiyon County, in this undated photo released on October 30, 2018 by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA). KCNA/via REUTERS. ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. REUTERS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THIS IMAGE. NO THIRD PARTY SALES. SOUTH KOREA OUT. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un guides a drill of mortar sub-units of North Korean Army in this image released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on April 10, 2020. KCNA/via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. REUTERS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THIS IMAGE. NO THIRD PARTY SALES. SOUTH KOREA OUT. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un visits Taesong Department Store just before its opening, in this photo released on April 8, 2019 by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA). KCNA via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. REUTERS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THIS IMAGE. NO THIRD PARTY SALES. SOUTH KOREA OUT. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un meets with the delegation that had visited the United States, in Pyongyang, North Korea in this photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on January 23, 2019. KCNA via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. REUTERS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THIS IMAGE. NO THIRD PARTY SALES. SOUTH KOREA OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN SOUTH KOREA. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visits a nursery in Kangwon Province in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on July 24, 2018. KCNA via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. REUTERS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THIS IMAGE. NO THIRD PARTY SALES. SOUTH KOREA OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN SOUTH KOREA.
U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un hold a summit at the Capella Hotel on the resort island of Sentosa, Singapore June 12, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un is seen as the newly developed intercontinental ballistic rocket Hwasong-15's test was successfully launched, in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang November 30, 2017. REUTERS/KCNA ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. REUTERS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THIS IMAGE. SOUTH KOREA OUT. NO THIRD PARTY SALES. NOT FOR USE BY REUTERS THIRD PARTY DISTRIBUTORS TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
An image of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and China's President Xi Jinping is displayed during a North Korean delegation's visit in Beijing, China, in this photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on January 30, 2019. KCNA via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. REUTERS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THIS IMAGE. NO THIRD PARTY SALES. SOUTH KOREA OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN SOUTH KOREA.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un pose for photographs on the top of Mt. Paektu, North Korea September 20, 2018. Pyeongyang Press Corps/Pool via REUTERS TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un reacts with members of the Korean People's Army scientists and engineers in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on May 15, 2017. KCNA via REUTERS REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. EDITORIAL USE ONLY. REUTERS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THIS IMAGE. NO THIRD PARTY SALES. SOUTH KOREA OUT.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visits the Command of the Strategic Force of the Korean People's Army (KPA) in an unknown location in North Korea in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on August 15, 2017. KCNA/via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. NO THIRD PARTY SALES. SOUTH KOREA OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN SOUTH KOREA. PICTURE BLURRED AT SOURCE. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un poses with participants during the 8th Congress of the Korean Children's Union (KCU) in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang, North Korea June 8, 2017. KCNA via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. REUTERS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THIS IMAGE. EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO THIRD PARTY SALES. NOT FOR USE BY REUTERS THIRD PARTY DISTRIBUTORS. SOUTH KOREA OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN SOUTH KOREA.
A photo taken on September 13, 2019 shows passengers in the departure area of the airport in North Korea's northern city of Samjiyon. - The monumental construction project in the far reaches of North Korea ordered by leader Kim Jong Un, involves nothing less than the rebuilding of the entire town of Samjiyon, the seat of a county which includes the supposed birthplace of Kim's father and predecessor Kim Jong Il, and Mount Paektu, the spiritual birthplace of the Korean nation. The plan includes a museum of revolutionary activities, a winter sports training complex, processing plants for blueberries and potatoes -- two of the area's most important crops -- a new railway line to Hyesan, and 10,000 apartments. (Photo by Ed JONES / AFP) / To go with NKorea-politics-economy-construction-Samjiyon, FOCUS by Sebastien Berger (Photo credit should read ED JONES/AFP via Getty Images)
In this image made from video of a still image broadcasted by North Korea's KRT on Thursday, Aug. 1, 2019, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, equipped with binoculars, supervises a rocket launch test. North Korea said Thursday, Aug. 1, leader Kim supervised the first test firing of a new multiple rocket launcher system that could potentially enhance its ability to strike targets in South Korea and U.S. military bases there.(KRT via AP Video)
La notizia secondo cui il dittatore sarebbe morto o in stato vegetativo dopo un intervento al cuore è stata diffusa da più fonti. Ma al momento non ci sono conferme
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A photo taken on September 10, 2019 shows a car passing along a street in North Korea's northern city of Samjiyon. - The monumental construction project in the far reaches of North Korea ordered by leader Kim Jong Un, involves nothing less than the rebuilding of the entire town of Samjiyon, the seat of a county which includes the supposed birthplace of Kim's father and predecessor Kim Jong Il, and Mount Paektu, the spiritual birthplace of the Korean nation. The plan includes a museum of revolutionary activities, a winter sports training complex, processing plants for blueberries and potatoes -- two of the area's most important crops -- a new railway line to Hyesan, and 10,000 apartments. (Photo by Ed JONES / AFP) / To go with NKorea-politics-economy-construction-Samjiyon, FOCUS by Sebastien Berger (Photo credit should read ED JONES/AFP via Getty Images)
FILE PHOTO: South Korean people watch a TV broadcasting a news report on North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Seoul, South Korea, April 21, 2020. REUTERS/Heo Ran/File Photo
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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un rides a horse as he visits battle sites in areas of Mt Paektu, Ryanggang, North Korea, in this undated picture released by North Korea's Central News Agency (KCNA) on December 4, 2019. KCNA via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. REUTERS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THIS IMAGE. NO THIRD PARTY SALES. SOUTH KOREA OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN SOUTH KOREA. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
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Visitors look on the northern side at the Imjingak Pavilion in Paju, South Korea, Sunday, April 26, 2020. A train likely belonging to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has been parked at his compound on the country's east coast since last week, satellite imagery showed, amid speculation about his health that has been caused, in part, by a long period out of the public eye. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)
A worker carries repair material near a wire fence decorated with ribbons written with messages wishing for the reunification of the two Koreas at the Imjingak Pavilion in Paju, South Korea, Wednesday, April 22, 2020. South Korean officials reported no unusual activity in North Korea on Tuesday following unconfirmed media reports that leader Kim Jong Un was in fragile health after surgery. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (C) looks through a periscope of a submarine during his inspection of the Korean People's Army (KPA) Naval Unit 167 in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang June 16, 2014. REUTERS/KCNA (NORTH KOREA - Tags: POLITICS MILITARY MARITIME) ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. REUTERS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THE AUTHENTICITY, CONTENT, LOCATION OR DATE OF THIS IMAGE. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. THIS PICTURE IS DISTRIBUTED EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. NO THIRD PARTY SALES. NOT FOR USE BY REUTERS THIRD PARTY DISTRIBUTORS. SOUTH KOREA OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN SOUTH KOREA
A visitor uses binoculars to see the northern side at the Imjingak Pavilion in Paju, South Korea, Wednesday, April 22, 2020. South Korean officials reported no unusual activity in North Korea on Tuesday following unconfirmed media reports that leader Kim Jong Un was in fragile health after surgery. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)
South Korean army soldiers wearing protective suits stand guard at the Unification Bridge, which leads to the Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone in Paju, South Korea, Tuesday, April 21, 2020. The South Korean government said Tuesday no unusual activity has been detected in North Korea after unconfirmed reports described leader Kim Jong Un as in fragile condition after heart surgery. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
A South Korean army soldier watches the North Korea side from the Unification Observation Post in Paju, South Korea, near the border with North Korea, Wednesday, Dec. 25, 2019. U.S. President Donald Trump said Tuesday that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un may be planning to give him "a nice present" such as a "beautiful vase" for Christmas rather than a missile launch.(AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un watches the launch of a Hwasong-12 missile in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on September 16, 2017. KCNA via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. REUTERS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THE AUTHENTICITY, CONTENT, LOCATION OR DATE OF THIS IMAGE. NO THIRD PARTY SALES. SOUTH KOREA OUT. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
In this image made from video of a still image broadcasted by North Korea's KRT on Sunday, Aug. 11, 2019, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, left, watches test firings of an unspecified new weapons system at an undisclosed location in North Korea. North Korea said Sunday leader Kim supervised the test-firings, which extended a streak of launches that are seen as an attempt to build leverage ahead of negotiations with the United States while driving a wedge between Washington and Seoul.(KRT via AP Video)
A visitor stands at a viewpoint overlooking the North Korean shoreline (C) and the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) separating North and South Korea, on the South Korean island of Ganghwa on April 23, 2020. - The United States will keep seeking North Korea's denuclearization no matter who is in charge in Pyongyang, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said, amid speculation about leader Kim Jong Un's health. (Photo by Ed JONES / AFP) (Photo by ED JONES/AFP via Getty Images)
South Korean soldiers patrol along a barbed wire fence Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) separating North and South Korea, on the South Korean island of Ganghwa on April 23, 2020. - The United States will keep seeking North Korea's denuclearization no matter who is in charge in Pyongyang, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said, amid speculation about leader Kim Jong Un's health. (Photo by Ed JONES / AFP) (Photo by ED JONES/AFP via Getty Images)
SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA - APRIL 21: People watch a television broadcast reporting on North Korean Kim Jong-un at the Seoul Railway Station on April 21, 2020 in Seoul, South Korea. South Korea has seen no unusual signs with regard to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's health, a government source said Tuesday, after US media reported that Kim is "in grave danger after a surgery." (Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)
PYONGYANG, Dec. 3, 2019 -- Kim Jong Un, top leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, attends a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the township of Samjiyon County in the northern part of the DPRK, marking the completion of the county's construction, on Dec. 2, 2019. The Samjiyon County, where Kim's father Kim Jong Il was born, "has turned into an example of a mountainous modern city under socialism," the official Korean Central News Agency said. (Photo by KCNA/Handout/Xinhua via Getty) (Xinhua/ via Getty Images)
A photo taken on September 10, 2019 shows passengers disembarking from a Tupolev TU-134 aircraft upon arrival in North Korea's northern city of Samjiyon. - The monumental construction project in the far reaches of North Korea ordered by leader Kim Jong Un, involves nothing less than the rebuilding of the entire town of Samjiyon, the seat of a county which includes the supposed birthplace of Kim's father and predecessor Kim Jong Il, and Mount Paektu, the spiritual birthplace of the Korean nation. The plan includes a museum of revolutionary activities, a winter sports training complex, processing plants for blueberries and potatoes -- two of the area's most important crops -- a new railway line to Hyesan, and 10,000 apartments. (Photo by Ed JONES / AFP) / To go with NKorea-politics-economy-construction-Samjiyon, FOCUS by Sebastien Berger (Photo credit should read ED JONES/AFP via Getty Images)
North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un sits in his vehicle after arriving at the Dong Dang railway station, Vietnam, at the border with China, February 26, 2019. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visits a drill of long-range artillery sub-units of the Korean People's Army, in North Korea in this image released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on March 2, 2020.?KCNA?via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. REUTERS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THIS IMAGE. NO THIRD PARTY SALES. SOUTH KOREA OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN SOUTH KOREA. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un inspects Yangdok Hot Spring Resort in this undated picture released by North Korea's Central News Agency (KCNA) on November 14, 2019. KCNA via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. REUTERS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THIS IMAGE. NO THIRD PARTY SALES. SOUTH KOREA OUT. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un waves to the people during a parade to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the signing of a truce in the 1950-1953 Korean War, at Kim Il-sung Square in Pyongyang July 27, 2013. REUTERS/Jason Lee (NORTH KOREA - Tags: POLITICS MILITARY ANNIVERSARY TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visits a submarine factory in an undisclosed location, North Korea, in this undated picture released by North Korea's Central News Agency (KCNA) on July 23, 2019. KCNA via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. REUTERS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THIS IMAGE. NO THIRD PARTY SALES. SOUTH KOREA OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN SOUTH KOREA. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visits the Jungphyong Vegetable Greenhouse Farm and Tree Nursery in Kyongsong County, North Korea, in this undated picture released by North Korea's Central News Agency (KCNA) on October 18, 2019. KCNA via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. REUTERS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THIS IMAGE. NO THIRD PARTY SALES. SOUTH KOREA OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN SOUTH KOREA.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un arrives at the railway station in the Russian far-eastern city of Vladivostok, Russia, April 24, 2019. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attends a luncheon with Minister for the Development of the Russian Far East Alexander Kozlov and governor of Primorsky Region Oleg Kozhemyako, in this undated photo released on April 27, 2019 by North Korea's Central News Agency (KCNA). KCNA via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. REUTERS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THIS IMAGE. NO THIRD PARTY SALES. SOUTH KOREA OUT. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Russia's President Vladimir Putin (R) and North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un attend an official reception following their talks in Vladivostok, Russia April 25, 2019. Sputnik/Alexei Nikolsky/Kremlin via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
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She said: "By exercising my power authorised by the supreme leader, our party and the state, I gave an instruction to the arms of the department in charge of the affairs with enemy to decisively carry out the next action.

"If I drop a hint of our next plan the (South Korean) authorities are anxious about, the right to taking the next action against the enemy will be entrusted to the General Staff of our army," she said.

"Our army, too, will determine something for cooling down our people's resentment and surely carry out it, I believe."

Kim Jong Un meets Donald Trump
Kim Jong Un meets Donald Trump in February last year (Evan Vucci/AP)

Ms Kim's harsh rhetoric demonstrates her elevated status in North Korea's leadership. Already seen as the most powerful woman in the country and her brother's closest confidant, state media recently confirmed that she is now in charge of relations with South Korea.

The liaison office in Kaesong, which has been shut since January due to coronavirus concerns, was set up as a result of one of the main agreements reached in three summits between Mr Kim and South Korean president Moon Jae-in in 2018.

Mr Moon's government had lobbied hard to set up nuclear summits between Mr Kim and US president Donald Trump, who have met three times since 2018.

At the same time, Mr Moon also worked to improve inter-Korean relations.

However, North Korea in recent months has suspended virtually all cooperation with the South while expressing frustration over the lack of progress in its nuclear negotiations with the Trump administration.

The North declared over the past week that it would cut off all government and military communication channels with the South and threatened to abandon key inter-Korean peace agreements reached by their leaders in 2018.

Kim Jong Un
Kim Jong Un (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP)

They include a military agreement in which the Koreas committed to jointly take steps to reduce conventional military threats, such as establishing border buffers and no-fly zones.

They also removed some front-line guard posts and jointly surveyed a waterway near their western border in an unrealised plan to allow freer civilian navigation.

In an earlier statement last week, Ms Kim said that the North would scrap the military agreement, "which is hardly of any value", while calling North Korean defectors who send leaflets from the South "human scum" and "mongrel dogs".

Her statement came hours after a senior North Korean foreign ministry official said that Seoul should drop "nonsensical" talk about the North's denuclearisation, and that his country would continue to expand its military capabilities to counter what it perceives as threats from the United States.

Kim Yo Jong
Ms Kim denounced defectors as 'mongrel dogs' (AP)

The comments by Kwon Jong Gun, director-general of the ministry's US affairs department, were in response to South Korea's foreign ministry, which had told reporters that Seoul would continue to work toward improving bilateral relations and reviving nuclear negotiations between Pyongyang and Washington.

In response to North Korea's anger over the leaflets, South Korea's government has said it would press charges against two defector groups which have been carrying out border protests.

The South also said it would push new laws to ban activists from flying the leaflets across the border, but there has been criticism over whether Mr Moon's government is sacrificing democratic principles to keep alive his ambitions for inter-Korean engagement.

For years, activists have floated huge balloons into North Korea carrying leaflets criticising Kim Jong Un over his nuclear ambitions and dismal human rights record.

The leafleting has sometimes triggered a furious response from North Korea, which bristles at any attempt to undermine its leadership.

While Seoul has sometimes sent police officers to block the activists during sensitive times, it had previously resisted North Korea's calls to fully ban them, saying they were exercising their freedom. Activists have vowed to continue with the balloon launches.

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