The influential sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Kim Yo Jong, harshly criticized Seoul on Monday for conducting recent military exercises near the border, accusing the South of being 'suicidal' and forewarning a 'terrible disaster'. Following Pyongyang's dispatch of multiple barrages of trash-carrying balloons across the border, Seoul last month suspended a tension-reducing military deal and resumed live-fire drills on border islands and near the demilitarized zone that separates the Korean Peninsula.

Kim Yo Jong, a prominent regime spokesperson, described these actions as 'an undisguised war game and an inexcusable, explicit provocation that worsens the situation,' according to a statement released by the official Korean Central News Agency. She further characterized South Korea's border drills as 'suicidal hysteria, for which they will have to endure a terrible disaster.'

Kim Yo Jong highlighted the 'riskiness of the reckless live ammunition firing drills of the ROK army coming closer to the border,' referring to South Korea by its official name, the Republic of Korea. She warned that if Seoul's exercises infringe upon North Korea's sovereignty, 'our armed forces will immediately carry out its mission,' without providing further details.

She also blamed South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol for the escalating tensions, accusing him of 'attempting an 'emergency escape' through the platform of ever-escalating tensions.' Yoon, who has faced low approval ratings since taking office in 2022, has recently been the subject of a popular petition calling for his impeachment, which caused delays and crashes on the parliamentary website hosting it.

'The world should pay attention to the fact that the number of people petitioning for proposing a bill on impeachment of Yoon Suk Yeol has exceeded one million as of now,' Kim Yo Jong stated. Seoul responded by expressing that it was 'very unfortunate that North Korea is interfering in our internal affairs, including criticizing our head of state.'

Seoul reiterated that 'North Korea's attempts to divide public opinion in our society will never work.' As of Monday, about 1.3 million people had signed the impeachment petition, far exceeding the 50,000 needed to trigger a parliamentary review, although there was little expectation of any significant impact. Relations between the two Koreas are at one of their lowest points in years, with Pyongyang intensifying weapons testing and drawing closer to Russia.

Seoul and Washington have accused Pyongyang of supplying arms to Moscow for use in the war in Ukraine, which would violate numerous sanctions on both countries. Earlier this year, North Korea declared Seoul its chief enemy and has abandoned agencies designed for outreach and diplomacy with Seoul, while strengthening security along the shared border. North Korean soldiers have crossed the border three times in recent weeks, likely accidentally, while working on laying mines, clearing foliage, and building potential anti-tank barriers.

Kim Yo Jong also condemned recent trilateral drills involving the United States, South Korea, and Japan, labeling them 'the height of confrontational hysteria.' She added that 'the war drumbeats clearly showed that the US and other hostile forces' reckless maneuvers for military hegemony in the region have crossed the red line.'