(ATTN: ADDS comments from unification ministry in paras 10-12)
By Yi Wonju
SEOUL, Nov. 24 (Yonhap) -- The sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on Thursday lashed out at South Korea's Yoon Suk-yeol administration for seeking more independent sanctions on Pyongyang, calling it a "faithful dog" to Washington.
Kim Yo-jong, vice department director of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea, harshly criticized the South for labeling the North's military exercise as a "provocation" and pushing to slap additional sanctions on Pyongyang.
"As soon as the U.S. talked about its 'independent sanctions' against the DPRK, South Korea parroted what the former said," she said in an English-language statement carried by the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), using the acronym for the North's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
"This disgusting act shows more clearly that the South Korean group is a 'faithful dog' and stooge of the U.S," she added.
Kim took aim at the conservative Yoon administration's approach toward the North, saying the South had not been its "target" at least when the preceding liberal Moon Jae-in government was in power.
"I wonder why the South Korean people still remain a passive onlooker to such acts of the 'government' of Yoon Suk Yeol and other idiots who continue creating the dangerous situation," she said.
Kim warned that the "desperate" sanctions and pressure against the North will add fuel to the regime's hostility that will only "serve as a noose" for Seoul and Washington.
"If they think that they can escape from the present dangerous situation through 'sanctions,' they must be really idiots as they do not know how to live in peace and comfort," she added.
She also described Seoul as a "running wild dog on a bone given by the U.S." and a "servant" attached to its "master."
Hours later, South Korea's unification ministry voiced "strong regret" over Kim's statement. It denounced Pyongyang for attempting to "shift the blame" to Seoul despite having caused tensions on the Korean Peninsula with its back-to-back missile launches.
"We consider it very deplorable that Vice Director Kim Yo-jong criticized the leader of our country today using vulgar language without showing even the most basic level of decency," the ministry said in a press release.
"We also strongly condemn the (North's) impure attempt to incite anti-government struggles among our people and to destabilize our system ... not a single person in our country will fall for such an attempt," it added.
Earlier this week, Seoul's foreign ministry said it was considering imposing independent sanctions in response to the North's provocations, including the launch of its intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capable of reaching the entire U.S. mainland.
Kim's latest statement comes two days after she bristled at a U.N. Security Council meeting on the recent ICBM launch, accusing the council of applying "double standards."
She is known for her influence on inter-Korean affairs in the Kim regime and other external issues.