The sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has accused the United States of “gangster-like” hypocrisy for criticising her country’s failed launch of a military spy satellite and insisted a successful launch will be made soon.
Kim Yo Jong said North Korea’s efforts to acquire space-based reconnaissance capabilities were a legitimate exercise of its sovereign right and restated the country’s rejection of UN Security Council resolutions that ban it from conducting any launch involving ballistic missile technology.
Her comments on state media came a day after the rocket carrying the satellite failed. North Korea said the rocket lost thrust after a stage separation and crashed in waters off the Korean Peninsula’s western coast.
Washington, South Korea and Japan had quickly criticised the launch. Adam Hodge, a spokesperson at the US National Security Council, said Washington strongly condemns the North Korean launch because it used banned ballistic missile technology, raised tensions and risked destabilising security in the region and beyond.
In her statement, Kim Yo Jong briefly mentioned Mr Hodge’s comments before saying the United States “is letting loose a hackneyed gibberish prompted by its brigandish and abnormal thinking”.
“If the DPRK’s (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) satellite launch should be particularly censured, the US and all other countries, which have already launched thousands of satellites, should be denounced,” she said.
“This is nothing but sophism of self-contradiction.”
She noted how the United States closely monitors the North through its own reconnaissance satellites and other aerial assets, calling the Americans a “group of gangsters” who would deem it as “illegal and threatening” had North Korea attempted to send a satellite into space by balloon.
She said: “The far-fetched logic that only the DPRK should not be allowed to do so according to the (UN Security Council’s) ‘resolution’ which bans the use of ballistic rocket technology irrespective of its purpose, though other countries are doing so, is clearly a gangster-like and wrong one of seriously violating the DPRK’s right to use space and illegally oppressing it.
“It is certain that the DPRK’s military reconnaissance satellite will be correctly put on space orbit in the near future and start its mission.”
Wednesday’s launch extended a provocative run in North Korean military demonstrations, including the test-firings of around 100 missiles since the start of 2022 that underscored Kim Jong Un’s attempts to acquire dual ability to conduct nuclear strikes on both the US mainland and South Korea.
The UN Security Council imposed economic sanctions on North Korea over its previous satellite and ballistic missile launches, but it has failed to punish the North over its recent tests.