Kim Declares South Korea ‘Hostile,’ Brings Specter of War Nearer

North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un announced a major U-turn in his nation’s relations with South Korea on January 16, designating it as enemy No. 1. Analysts believe this shift makes war on the Korean Peninsula far more likely.

We have formulated a new stand on the north-south relations and the policy of reunification and dismantled all the organizations we established as solidarity bodies for peaceful reunification …. It can be said this is an indispensable process that should take place without fail.
—Kim Jong-un

Constitutional revision: Kim said he aims to alter North Korea’s constitution to designate South Korea as his “invariable, principal enemy.”

The milestone speech came days after Kim’s forces fired some 200 artillery shells into the waters near South Korea, prompting South Korea to reciprocate with hundreds of rounds of artillery fire. North Korean then conducted an unprecedented three days of live-fire artillery drills.

Looming conflict: The Diplomat called Kim’s sudden about-face a “big deal” because it means “the Korean Peninsula has now devolved from a state of armistice to one where conflict looms at any moment.”

The stakes in such a conflict could scarcely be higher.

  • South Korea is a United States ally that hosts 28,500 American troops.
  • North Korea is a nuclear power and is thought to have received increased help from Russia in recent months with missiles designed to deliver nuclear warheads to targets.

‘Triple spiral’: With America already partly involved in conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East, the Diplomat says, “escalating tensions on the Korean Peninsula have thrust the United States and its allies into a triple spiral of crises.”

In his booklet Nuclear Armageddon Is ‘At the Door,’ Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry discusses North Korea’s leadership and belligerence and writes: “[M]admen could be ready to attack America with nuclear weapons! It is childish folly to think anybody but Christ could stop this nuclear madness.”