SEOUL: North Korea’s top military body launched a blistering personal attack yesterday on South Korean President Park Geun-Hye and vowed to push ahead with the country’s nuclear weapons programme.
The harsh tone of the attack, attributed to a spokesman from the National Defence Commission (NDC), echoed the bellicose rhetoric employed by Pyongyang when military tensions soared following its nuclear test in February.
Referencing Park by name, rather than using the more neutral “chief executive” moniker, the spokesman told the president that she was steering the Korean peninsula back into a period of dangerous “confrontation”.
The commentary, carried by the North’s official KCNA news agency, was largely a response to a speech by Park on Tuesday urging Pyongyang to give up its nuclear ambitions.
The president had also talked up the development of a military deterrent capability that would render the North’s nuclear weapons “useless”.
A day later, visiting US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel and his South Korean counterpart Kim Kwan-Jin signed a new strategic plan to counter the growing threat of a North Korean nuclear or chemical weapons attack.
“There will be no bigger fool and poorer imbecile than the one who schemes to side with a nuclear-wielding robber and urge one’s own kinsmen to lower a knife first,” the NDC spokesman said.
South Korea is protected by the US nuclear umbrella and there are currently nearly 30,000 US troops stationed in the country.