Gov’t condemns North’s insults toward president

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Gov’t condemns North’s insults toward president

The government issued a public warning to Pyongyang on Monday after North Korea bombarded the South Korean president with insults.

“Words always go back to the person who first said them,” said Jeong Joon-hee, a spokesman for the Ministry of Unification. “I believe mean words will eventually go back to the group or its leadership who said them. I want North Korea to clearly remember that such vulgar remarks will create yet another opportunity to remind other people to think about its human rights issues.”

North Korea has often used provocative insults to criticize the South and its leaders, including President Park Geun-hye, but the statement issued on Saturday was considered particularly serious. The statement, released Friday under the title of a spokesman of the Joint National Organization of Working People of North Korea, complained about Park’s appeal to Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear weapons program.

In the statement, the North said it was the North Korean people’s sentiment that “Park’s mouth should be welded together to stop her from ever opening it again.”

“The group issued its first criticism on May 18, and again on July 15,” Jeong said. “And the third statement issued Saturday seems to be in a new pattern. I strongly denounce the North’s extremely vulgar insults to our government and the president.”

The North’s commentary also shocked South Korea’s main opposition leader, Moon Jae-in, the chairman of the New Politics Alliance for Democracy (NPAD), prompting him to issue a rare public criticism toward Pyongyang on Sunday on his Facebook page.

“The North has once again attacked President Park with spiteful remarks,” he wrote. “Insulting the head of state of another country is like insulting the entire nation’s population.”

“I am embarrassed to see such a nasty expression,” Moon continued. “The North’s attitude will not help the development of inter-Korean relations. Even the South Korean people critical of Park’s North Korea policy would feel insulted by North Korea’s comments.”

He added that the North’s attitude only fueled the South Korean people’s hatred toward Pyongyang and further degraded the Communist state’s image in the international community.

BY SER MYO-JA [ser.myoja@joongang.co.kr]

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