The Korea Herald


Defense chief warns N. Korea will face end of regime if it wages war

By Yonhap

Published : Jan. 24, 2024 - 19:20

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(Yonhap) (Yonhap)

South Korea's defense chief said Wednesday that North Korea will face the end of its regime if it wages war, hours after the North fired several rounds of cruise missiles into the Yellow Sea in its latest series of weapons tests.

Defense Minister Shin Won-sik issued the warning during his visit to the 17th Fighter Wing at Cheongju Air Base, 112 kilometers south of Seoul, which operates 40 F-35 stealth fighter jets.

"North Korea has defined the Republic of Korea as its principal enemy and has maintained a hostile policy under the goal of communizing the whole Korean Peninsula," Shin was quoted as saying, referring to South Korea's official name.

Shin urged the F-35 pilots to sternly retaliate in case of any North Korean provocation with the fighter jets' stealth infiltration and precision strike capabilities.

"If the Kim Jong-un regime opts for the worst choice of waging war, you should be at the vanguard of removing the enemy's leadership at the earliest possible time and put an end to the regime," he said.

The F-35A is a key asset for the South Korean military due to its high-performance radar and stealth capabilities, enabling it to carry out long-range strategic strikes without being noticed by the enemy. The Air Force plans to deploy 20 additional F-35As by 2027.

Last week, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un threatened South Korea with war if "even 0.001 mm" of the North's territory is violated, saying his country will not recognize the Northern Limit Line, the de facto inter-Korean maritime border.

The North also claimed it tested an underwater nuclear attack drone in the East Sea in response to the latest joint naval drills involving South Korea, the United States and Japan early last week. (Yonhap)