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Kim Jong Un’s Sister Threatens to Bolster Military After Being Ignored by U.S.

Kim Yo Jong, Kim Jong Un’s sister, vowed on Thursday that North Korea would increase its national defense and military power after plans to conduct joint US-South Korea military exercises. Ms. Kim also demanded that the exercises be canceled. They are set to begin next week, however, preliminary training has already begun for the exercises, which occur every year. The preliminary training was once conducted in person, with tens of thousands of military personnel on large-scale drill fields. However, they are now mostly computer simulations due to orders from former President Donald Trump to scale them back during his administration.

Kim Yo Jong spoke out about the plans, seemingly frustrating at Washington and Seoul for ignoring her earlier requests that the exercises be canceled. However, the two entities failed to do so, leading Ms. Kim to excoriate the countries. Ms. Kim’s role in North Korea has been elevated over the past few years, and she now serves as Pyongyang’s spokesperson for relations with Washington and Seoul. In March, Ms. Kim also protested springtime exercises. Just days after her unfounded protests, the North test-fired its first ballistic missiles since the Biden administration began. Last month, in a surprising move by Pyongyang, North Korea reopened its direct communication line with Seoul. Cancellation of the joint exercises seems unlikely.

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