North Korea lashes out at unification proposals

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North Korea lashes out at unification proposals

North Korea on Saturday unleashed a biting verbal assault against President Park Geun-hye’s unification initiatives, unveiled in the German city of Dresden last month, calling them traitorous to the Korean people and points not even worthy of being spoken.

Making it clear that it rejected Park’s series of measures for better inter-Korean relations through active economic cooperation and humanitarian aid, Pyongyang called Seoul’s overtures “shameless grumbling by a traitor of the Korean people” who talks about “grievances of the Koreans in a foreign country.”

Continuing its caustic rhetoric, the Communist country defined South Korea’s first female president as “worse than an ignorant peasant” to come up with such ideas for enhanced Seoul-Pyongyang relations.

“The Dresden Declaration was made because Park is worse than an ignorant peasant,” the North said.

Pyongyang also warned in a highly threatening rant against the head of state that the Blue House could become her grave site if she continues to carry out North Korean policies in the same way that she has so far.

The response from the Communist state was delivered by its powerful National Defense Commission, which published its harsh statement Saturday through the Korean Central News Agency, the official mouthpiece of the regime, 15 days after Park delivered her address in Europe. It was the first response by a North Korean government body concerning Park’s road map for unification, which she announced on March 28 in Dresden.

In her Dresden Declaration, the president emphasized the need for both Koreas to recover a sense of common identity over the course of preparing for the process of unification and integration.

In order to do so, Park proposed the building of infrastructure that would support the public’s livelihood in the impoverished state and carry out humanitarian projects, such as providing health care to pregnant mothers and infants in North Korea through their first 1,000 days.

The North’s negative reaction to Park’s overtures stems from its concerns over the fact that she delivered her highly anticipated speech in the former East German city, where she emphasized that the two Koreas should use the reunification of East and West Germany as a historical model.

She also noted that Germany was able to “overcome the aftershocks of unification fairly quickly and achieve a level of integration” because of its “sustained people-to-people interaction that took place prior to unification.”

In its response on Saturday, Pyongyang signaled that it had interpreted Park’s message as her intention to seek unification through absorption of the North, an idea it outright rejected.

Pointing out that East Germany underwent “absorption unification,” the North claimed that Park had “impure agendas” to talk about Korea’s unification in a city that was once a part of East Germany.

“Park shamelessly made her wish of absorption unification clear, just like her father did,” claimed Pyongyang’s highest branch of government, of which North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is the first chairman.

In making its case, Pyongyang also mentioned German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whom Park met a day before her address.

Pyongyang’s policy-making body claimed that Park was trying to put North Korean defectors - which it defines as “human scumbags” - on the forefront of the issue in appealing for unification, drawing attention to the fact that Merkel is an East German-born leader.

Inter-Korean relations have reached a new low in recent weeks following the North’s firing of shells across the Northern Limit Line in the Yellow Sea, and its announcement that it would undertake a “new form” of nuclear testing in the future.

BY KANG JIN-KYU [jkkang2@joonang.co.kr]


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