"We will blow away the den of South Korean authorities, including Cheong Wa Dae, in a pan-national holy war of retribution," said a statement issued by Pyongyang's National Defense Commission, which is headed by the North Korean leader.
Seoul expressed disappointment over the statement, with its Defense Ministry spokesman saying, "It is regretful for Pyongyang to make such a provocative statement taking issue with unconfirmed newspaper reports."
The statement from the North came shortly after its official news agency said that Pyongyang had decided to accept 10,000 tons of corn in aid from Seoul and a day after it proposed talks aimed at reviving tours of Mt. Geumgang for South Koreans, which have been halted for more than a year over the shooting death of a tourist.
The North's proposed talks with the United States to replace the current ceasefire with a permanent peace regime were recently snubbed by Washington.
"South Korean authorities' reckless provocation plan targeting our revolutionary supreme leadership and highly-esteemed socialist system will face an all-out holy war,'' the North Korean statement said. "The holy war will mobilize not only armed forces in South and North Korea but also from overseas in an all-out strike."
It added that the South's plan is intended "to topple our republic."
The report in question, carried by two conservative newspapers in Seoul, cited unidentified government sources as saying, "The Seoul government, with involvement from the National Intelligence Service and the Unification Ministry, has completed a plan codenamed "Revival," which prepares for a variety of contingencies related to a potential collapse of the North.
At that time, Seoul admitted that there was a contingency plan but did not reveal its contents.
Pyongyang Friday demanded that Seoul issue a sincere apology and abolish its spy agency and the unification ministry.
However, the statement fell short of specifically mentioning the six-party talks aimed at the dismantling of Pyongyang's nuclear programs or inter-Korean talks.
Officials in Seoul found the latest statement from Pyongyang to be odd as it came just hours after the North sent a fax notifying Seoul of its decision to accept the 10,000 tons of corn.
Lee Jong-joo, a spokeswoman at the ministry, said it will take at least a month to purchase the corn from China or elsewhere and ship it to the North.
In November, the North reacted in anger after reports surfaced about Operation Plan (OPLAN) 5029, a plan developed by Seoul and Washington to deal with several types of emergency situations in the communist North including civil war and an outflow of weapons of mass destruction (WMD).
Analysts said the North's saber-rattling was an attempt to increase its bargaining power ahead of its rejoining the six-party talks on denuclearization.
Source: The Korea Times