North Korea responds to South Korean criticism, calls sanctions 'laughable'

PYONGYANG, Korea, Democratic People's Republic Of -- North Korea responded to an unusually harsh verbal attack by South Korea's president against the North's leader and its recent nuclear test and rocket launch with a characteristically colorful invective of its own Saturday, calling her policy traitorous and adding that Washington's newly enacted sanctions are "laughable.

See Full Article

"

The North's official reaction -- including the insult "senile granny" -- was expected, though it took several days for Pyongyang to announce it through its state-run media.

North Korea regularly condemns South Korean President Park Geun-hye through sexist and violent language, saying recently that she lives upon "the groin of her American boss."

But the renewed war of words has some worried that the tensions could lead to real conflict.

As evidence of heightened anxieties, sounds of explosions early Saturday caused South Korean residents of a front-line island to prepare to evacuate, but it was later determined that the noise came from a North Korean artillery drill across the rivals' disputed maritime border. No North Korean projectiles crossed into the south side of the border.

Park has been backed up several high-profile demonstrations of U.S. military might that are seen by Pyongyang as deliberate provocations.

A U.S. B-52 bomber flew over the Korean Peninsula after the North's Jan. 6 nuclear test and U.S. F-22 stealth fighters were deployed to a an air base in South Korea after the Feb. 8 rocket launch.

Next month, the U.S. and South Korea are expected to hold larger-than-usual joint military drills. The annual war games are a major source of tensions, since Pyongyang sees them as evidence that Seoul and Washington, which are still technically at war with the North because the 1950-53 Korean War ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty, are planning an invasion.

The latest round of verbal volleys began in a speech to South Korea's parliament on Tuesday -- a major holiday in North Korea marking the birthday of Kim Jong Un's late father, Kim Jong Il -- when Park warned that North Korea must either change its ways or face the collapse of its regime.

The president added that Kim Jong Un's authoritarian government is an "extreme reign of terror" and used his name three times, something usually avoided at her level. It is believed that Kim has never referred to Park by name in his rare public speeches.

In Saturday's dispatch, North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency, or KCNA, called Park a "tailless, old, insane bitch" -- though the phrase was toned down to "dog" in the English version, which came out later in the day.

It also called her "a traitor for all times."

Along with her pointed criticism of Kim Jong Un's regime, Park's government has also resumed cross-border propaganda broadcasts and shut down a factory park just north of the Demilitarized Zone that had been jointly run by the rivals. Seoul has also started preparatory talks with Washington on deploying a sophisticated missile defence system in South Korea, angering Beijing and Moscow, who feel they could be targeted by such a system as well.

The North took special umbrage at the closure of the industrial zone, saying the decision will cost the South more than it will harm North Korea and calling the factory park a "symbol of hope that alleviates the pain of the nation resulting from division."

Park and her deputies maintain that South Korean payments to North Korean workers at the park -- $110 million last year alone -- have gone in large part straight to the leaders who oversee the North's nuclear bomb and missile programs.

"This only proves herself to be the worst imbecile and idiot unable to count even simple numbers," it said. "The shutdown of the zone will bring tremendous damages to the South Korean economy as a whole."

In a separate report on Saturday, KCNA quoted an unnamed Foreign Ministry official as saying that despite the "laughable" U.S. sanctions, the North will stick to its official policy of simultaneously developing nuclear weapons and its economy.

Washington's new sanctions against Pyongyang were signed into law by President Barack Obama on Thursday. The sanctions are aimed at denying the North the money to develop miniaturized warheads and the long-range missiles required to deliver them.

Meanwhile, Seoul's Defence Ministry said the military completed its search operations for debris from the North Korean long-range rocket that was launched into orbit Feb. 7.

South Korean officials believe the North deliberately blew up the rocket's first stage after burnout to prevent South Korea from retrieving debris. Some analysts said that claim may be premature and are studying what little evidence is available for more clues.

North Korea said it launched an Earth observation satellite, which it has dubbed the Kwangmyongson-4, or Shining Star-4. The satellite has been confirmed to be in orbit, but it is not known if it has succeeded in transmitting signals back to Earth.

"The DPRK's successes in H-bomb test and in the launch of satellite Kwangmyongsong-4 startled our planet," KCNA said.

"But only Park Geun-hye behaved quite contrary to this," it added. "Writhing and wriggling, she sits up all night, spouting rubbish, invectives and vituperation."

Associated Press writer Tong-hyung Kim in Seoul, South Korea, contributed to this report.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Quebec teen fires off cease and desist letter to school board over smartphone rules

    Canada News CTV News
    SAGUENAY, Que. -- A 15-year-old Quebec boy is challenging his school's policy of confiscating a smartphone for 24 hours if it is used during class. A school board in the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region confirms it received a letter from Vincent Duguay this week. Source
  • He said-he said: 10 times that Trump has contradicted Trump

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- It's a he said-he said thing. U.S. President Donald Trump once promised to be "very restrained" on Twitter -- "if I use it at all." He thought campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos was an "excellent guy" -- until Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI. Source
  • Lac-Mégantic jury asks 3rd question as deliberations stretch on

    Canada News CBC News
    The jury in the Lac-Mégantic trial of three men charged in connection with 2013 rail disaster had another question Friday morning, as they embarked on their ninth day of deliberations. The jurors asked clarification on determining how the actions and decisions made by the three accused differed from what another employee would have done in the situation. Source
  • Palestinian family says it killed relative suspected of spying for Israel

    World News CBC News
    A Palestinian family in the Gaza Strip said it has killed a relative who allegedly helped Israel track down and kill three senior Hamas militants, including one of the man's own kinsmen. In a statement, the family of Ahmed Barhoum said it had shot him in the city of Rafah after being told by a militant group that Barhoum had provided information to Israel. Source
  • Trudeau to make 3-city U.S. tour to push business ties

    Canada News CBC News
    As tense NAFTA talks continue, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is preparing to make a three-city trip to the United States next month to explore new business opportunities and strengthen bilateral ties. Trudeau will stop in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago from Feb. Source
  • Transportation watchdog must revisit air passenger obesity complaint

    Canada News CTV News
    OTTAWA - The Supreme Court of Canada says a federal transportation watchdog was too hasty in dismissing a consumer advocate's complaint on behalf of obese airline passengers. The high court's 6-3 decision today means the Canadian Transportation Agency must take a fresh look at Gabor Lukacs' complaint against Delta Air Lines. Source
  • Supreme Court orders 2nd look at complaint about airline bumping obese passengers

    Canada News CBC News
    The Supreme Court of Canada has ordered the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) to take another look at a complaint about how Delta Air Lines deals with obese passengers. The complaint was filed by Halifax-based passenger rights advocate Gabor Lukacs. Source
  • Boy, 13, charged as adult in crossbow killing of 10-year-old

    World News CTV News
    CHANDLER, Okla. -- Prosecutors in Oklahoma have charged a 13-year-old boy with first-degree murder in the crossbow killing of a 10-year-old friend. The death happened last fall in the small town of Chandler, about 65 kilometres northeast of Oklahoma City. Source
  • Border wall models thwart U.S. commandos in tests

    World News CTV News
    SAN DIEGO -- Recent assaults by tactical teams on prototypes of U.S. President Donald Trump's proposed wall with Mexico indicate their imposing heights should stop border crossers, a U.S. official with direct knowledge of the rigorous assessment told The Associated Press. Source
  • Turkey says no turning back from offensive in Syria

    World News CTV News
    ANKARA, Turkey -- Turkey's defence minister said Friday there is no turning back from his country's decision to launch a ground assault on a Syrian Kurdish-controlled enclave in northwest Syria, saying the offensive had "de facto" started with the sporadic Turkish military shelling of the area. Source