Following missile tests performed by both North Korea and South Korea within hours of each other, the sister of North Korean ruler Kim Jong Un threatened the "complete destruction" of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
According to CNN, the tensions began when North Korea launched two missiles off the coast of South Korea that afternoon. The missiles fell in a body of water near Japan's exclusive economic zone and were later confirmed as test fire by the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Reports show this is North Korea's second missile test of the year, which happens to coincide with a successful launch of new long-range cruise missiles launched less than a week earlier.
Within hours of the North Korean tests, South Korea conducted its own missile test from a submarine of the 3,000-ton class, marking the first time that a ballistic missile was launched from an underwater launch platform. A key motive for the missile launches and technological advancement in South Korea, according to President Moon Jae, was to provide his country with "certain deterrence" against North Korea.
“South Korea would face many political and legal obstacles to develop nuclear weapons, both internal and external,” said Korea expert Ramon Pacheco Pardo per Reuters. “So it will develop all other capabilities to deter North Korea and show who the strongest Korea is.”
KIM Yo Jong, the sister of North Korean ruler Kim Jong Un, took aim at the leadership of South Korea, claiming that the communist government was manufacturing missiles for defense purposes rather than to threaten the country's neighbors.
“If the president joins in the slander and detraction (against us), this will be followed by counteractions, and the North-South relations will be pushed toward a complete destruction,” she said. “We do not want that.”