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Seoul condemns Pyongyang's attack on Park's anti-nuke remarks during Mongolia trip

All News 16:51 July 22, 2016

SEOUL, July 22 (Yonhap) -- South Korea on Friday condemned Pyongyang's recent attack on President Park Geun-hye's anti-North Korean remarks made during the recent Asia-Europe summit in Mongolia.

In the 11th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) held in Ulaanbaatar from Friday to Saturday, Park called for "denuclearization" of the North, "right changes" in the communist country and "enforcement of sanctions measures" against it.

"We strongly condemn (North Korea) for vulgarly slandering and smearing our head of state with rough words and sophistry," Unification Ministry spokesman Jeong Joo-hee said in a press briefing.

On Thursday, the North's Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea (CPRK) said Park's remarks were all underhanded attempts to destroy the North.

North Korea's state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) also criticized Park for "playing the role of lackey" by following the U.S. strategy for hegemony and that her actions sacrificed the interests of the Korean nation as a whole.

The reckless move to deploy the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system "at a time when distrust and confrontation between the two Koreas reached an extreme phase would escalate the military tensions on the Korean peninsula to the worst phase and drive the situation to the brink of war," North Korea said in an English dispatch carried by the KCNA.

Early this month, Seoul announced its plan to deploy a THAAD battery in South Korea by the end of 2017 to deal with increasing threats from the North.

In an apparent protest against the decision, North Korea on Tuesday test-fired three ballistic missiles. The South Korean military said the communist country fired off two Rodongs and one Scud missile with two flying some 500-600 kilometers.

A day later, the North said it conducted its latest ballistic missile launch with the aim of practicing pre-emptive strikes against ports and airfields in the South.

kyongae.choi@yna.co.kr
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