The comments by Kim Yong Chol — who serves as a vice chairman at the Central Committee of North Korea’s ruling party — came in response to remarks by South Korean defense minister Jeong Kyeong-doo at a hearing of the country’s National Assembly earlier in the day.
Speaking to lawmakers, Jeong said that while he welcomed DPRK leader Kim Jong Un’s decision to temporarily suspend military actions against Seoul, Pyongyang’s plans should “entirely be withdrawn.”
In his statement Wednesday, Kim Yong Chol expressed regret at the minister’s comments.
“Prospects of North-South relations depend on the South Korean authority’s attitude in the future and how they act,” he said, warning that “frivolous” remarks could see the North reverse Kim Jong Un’s decision.
“This may sound threatening, but it wouldn’t be fun when our ‘suspension’ becomes ‘reconsideration,'” he continued. “A scared dog barks louder.”
Speaking at a preliminary meeting of the North Korean ruling party’s Central Military Commission (CMC), Kim Jong Un was earlier in the day reported to have called off plans for an unspecified “military action” against South Korea.
South Korea then confirmed that North Korea that a number of propaganda loudspeakers — reinstalled along the inter-Korean border by the DPRK army in recent days — had been removed and that over a dozen anti-Seoul articles had been removed from state-run websites.
And following days of coverage in DPRK state media threatening revenge against the country’s enemies in the South, Wednesday’s edition of ruling party daily the Rodong Sinmun was also notably devoid of any anti-South invective.
Pyongyang, Kim Yong Chol stressed in his statement, had decided to call off a planned military action against the South, as well as moved to “stop a series of actions against the South that were being pushed ahead” — potentially a reference to previous plans to send millions of anti-Seoul leaflets across the border.
“Easing of the military tension on the Korean peninsula cannot be realized just with unilateral restraint and the result of good-will actions, but it can only be protected and guaranteed through mutual efforts and patience based on mutual respect and trust,” he said.
“A bigger crisis situation should not come in North-South relations because of South Korea’s Ministry of National Defense’s random slip of the tongue,” Kim continued.
“One should wisely think and behave to make us not use these harsh expressions again in our official announcement of position against South Korea.”
The comments by Kim Yong Chol -- who serves as a vice chairman at the Central Committee of North Korea's ruling party -- came in response to remarks by South Korean defense minister Jeong Kyeong-doo at a hearing of the country's National Assembly earlier in the day.