Kim Jong Un’s sister criticized the South Korean leader’s speech in which he described Seoul’s growing missile capabilities as a ‘sure deterrence’ against Pyongyang’s provocations. After Seoul’s first successful test of a submarine-launched ballistic missile, Moon commented on Seoul’s defense capabilities.
As for deterrence against North Korea’s provocation, Moon had said that enhancing our missile capability is necessary. Kim Yo Jong said Moon’s remark was inappropriate in a statement carried by North Korean state media, threatening a ‘complete destruction’ of South Korean ties. Pyongyang fired two ballistic missiles into the sea just hours earlier, according to the South Korean and Japanese militaries.
It is expected that the apparent display of military might by the two countries will escalate tensions on the Korean peninsula. Under Moon’s regime, weapons races have accelerated as he seeks more autonomy on foreign policy matters amid North Korean and Chinese military developments. Developing nuclear weapons in South Korea would face many political and legal obstacles, both internal and external, Ramon Pacheco Pardo, a Korea expert at King’s College London, told Reuters. Consequently, it will work on developing all its other capabilities to deter North Korea, as well as remind them of who the strongest Korean is.
A deadlock has been reached in the negotiations to stop North Korea from conducting nuclear tests and developing ballistic missiles. Although the US military said that missile launches did not pose a direct threat to them or their allies, they stressed the destabilizing impact of the North’s weapons program. North Korea continues to violate Security Council resolutions despite global sanctions. In a statement, the US State Department said Pyongyang’s missile launch was a threat to its neighbors, but didn’t mention the tests conducted by South Korea.