Pyongyang has also expanded the targets of its threats to news reports by South Korean media and activities by civic organizations.
The North on Thursday issued a joint statement of its government, ruling Workers` Party and organizations saying, “The alien betraying faction should immediately apologize for the grave crime of slandering the events on the Day of the Sun (birthday of North Korea founder Kim Il Sung),” adding, “Otherwise, we will launch a sacred war of vengeance and completely wipe out the alien betraying faction from this land.”
By blasting South Korean President Lee Myung-bak’s radio address delivered Monday, Pyongyang said, “The traitor Lee Myung-bak has shouted how much we spent on launching the missile when events for the Day of the Sun were proceeding, and how much corn the money would have bought,” adding, “This constitutes intolerable slander against our Dear Leader, regime and people.”
This was the first time since January last year that the North issued a joint statement of the government, ruling party and organization.
A South Korean government source said, “It is unusual for Pyongyang to use a joint statement, which it usually uses as a means to propose dialogue with Seoul as part of its ‘national reunification frontier tactic,’” adding, “We are analyzing the background of the move.”
Almost all organizations in the North have thus effectively joined forces to blast the South after the North Korean Foreign Ministry’s declaration to nullify the “Feb. 29 North Korea-U.S. agreement” Tuesday and military threat by the North`s Committee for Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland and the Supreme Command Wednesday.
The Chosun Sinbo, the official newspaper of Chochongryeon, or a pro-North Korea group in Japan, also reported Thursday, “With the collapse of the Feb. 28 agreement, measures such as interim suspension of nuclear tests will be naturally lifted,” threatening additional nuclear tests.
The North is also expanding the targets of its condemnation. It condemned the South early last month over a combat slogan at a military barrack in Incheon, South Korea.
This time, Pyongyang is criticizing anti-North Korea activities by university students and civic groups in the South and the contents of news reports. The joint statement threatened them by saying, “Conservative news organizations and maligning journalists who trump groundless accusations are not exempt from (the objects to be punished) as anti-Korean criminals.”
Goh Yu-hwan, professor of North Korea studies at Dongguk University in Seoul, said, “With Kim Jong Un taking control of the (ruling) party, military and government, each of the agencies, fearing censure if they don’t counter the ‘insulting act,’ is racing to express loyalty,” adding, “The North will continue to display a hard-line mode until Kim Jong Un takes full control of administration.