June 23, 2017 11:58
North Korea on Thursday slammed leaders of South Korea and the U.S. ahead of their summit scheduled at the end of this month.
A spokesman for the ironically named Committee for the Peaceful Unification of the Fatherland said Wednesday that "the person in power" in the South is trying to blame the North for failed efforts to improve cross-border relations. It accused President Moon Jae-in of making "wanton" comments.
Citing the historic June 15 agreement the two Koreas signed in 2000 pledging unprecedented rapprochement, the committee called on Moon to "assume a proper attitude" to inter-Korean relations by refraining from making comments that it claimed were "foolish" and "futile."
Moon last week told reporters that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is keen on dialogue in his heart of hearts and "bluffing" in his rush to acquire nuclear weapons.
But Moon also said strong international sanctions are needed at this stage, and the committee complained that this "signals a lack of interest" in dialogue.
The state-run Rodong Sinmun daily meanwhile took aim at U.S. President Donald Trump by calling him a "lunatic." The daily said the Trump administration is considering a preemptive attack against the North and warned that the U.S. faces a "major disaster."
Cho Han-bum at the Korea Institute for National Unification said, "North Korea wants to resolve the nuclear standoff by talking only to the U.S. but extract economic rewards from South Korea. They're probably annoyed that the Moon administration is falling in synch with Washington ahead of the summit."
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