SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea threatened today to “wipe out” South Korea’s government in a furious response a day after a Seoul official said the North “must disappear soon,” in an escalation of rhetoric between the rivals.
The North’s powerful National Defense Commission called the South Korean comments an “intolerable” provocation that showed the South wants to take over the North.
It said in a statement carried by state media that North Korea will launch “all-out ... merciless” strikes to “wipe out every last person” in South Korean President Park Geun-hye’s government.
South Korean Defense Ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok said Monday that North Korea wasn’t a real country and existed for the benefit of only one person — a reference to its leader, Kim Jong Un.
He said the North has no human rights or public freedoms.
Kim’s comments followed a series of slurs by North Korea against the leaders of South Korea and the United States. North Korea’s media likened Park to an “old prostitute” and President Barack Obama to a “monkey” in recent dispatches.