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N. Korea slams Seoul security policy chief

Publication Date : 05-06-2014

 

North Korea on Wednesday ratcheted up its criticism of South Korean President Park Geun-hye’s decision to appoint hawkish Defence Minister Kim Kwan-jin as her security office chief, warning that inter-Korean ties would further deteriorate.

“The reality is that as long as felonious confrontational fanatics like Kim live on, inter-Korean ties cannot improve, and the situation on the Korean Peninsula would further worsen,” said the North’s official Korean Central News Agency in a commentary.

“Park Geun-hye should take all responsibility for the results of her decision to appoint Kim as the security chief of the presidential office.”

Kim, one of the country’s longest-serving defence ministers, was largely expected to leave the government amid criticism that his tough stance toward the communist state had gotten in the way of efforts to build trust with Pyongyang.

Yet, Park decided to keep him as the centerpiece of her security policy. The communist state has threatened to conduct a fourth nuclear test and carried out a set of saber-rattling moves recently.

In the commentary, the KCNA also attributed Kim to the failure to rescue many of the passengers of the ill-fated ferry Sewol, calling him a “first-class criminal who should take full responsibility and public judgment.”

Pyongyang has long berated Kim for being hostile toward the North. The provocative state has said Kim was on its list of those to be “first weeded out” ― a reason why bodyguards accompanied him for some time last year.

Meanwhile, the Rodong Sinmun, the daily of the North’s ruling Workers’ Party, denounced Seoul’s acceptance of a request from the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to build a field office to monitor human rights violations in the North. The daily called the acceptance a “political provocation.”

“It is an unacceptable, hostile act against us, intended to damage our dignity and escalate inter-Korean confrontation. It is an intolerable political provocation against us,” it said in an article.

It also claimed that Seoul sought to highlight the human rights conditions in the North in a veiled scheme to circumvent public criticism of Seoul’s bungled response to the April 16 ferry disaster that left more than 300 people dead or missing.

The North is notorious for its human rights records. Earlier this year, an UN investigation found evidence of torture, execution, arbitrary incarceration, deliberate starvation, enslavement and other appalling practices by North Korean officials.

 

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