SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea issued a direct personal attack on the South’s new president for the first time since her inauguration two weeks ago, saying on Wednesday that her “venomous swish of skirt" was to blame for rising tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
The insult directed at President Park Geun-hye, the first woman to hold the office, added a curious sartorial element to the verbal barrage North Korea has been mounting since the United States and the South began a joint military exercise on March 1, followed by a new round of sanctions imposed by the U.N. Security Council.
“This frenzy kicked up by the South Korean warmongers is in no way irrelevant, with the venomous swish of skirt made by the one who again occupies" the presidential Blue House, the North’s Ministry of the People’s Armed Forces said in a statement, referring to Park. She returned to the residence as president on Feb. 25, about 33 years after her father, the former President Park Chung-hee, was assassinated.
The statement, which was carried by the North’s official Korean Central News Agency, reiterated that the North would not give up its nuclear weapons, calling them a guarantee of security against the United States.
“Warmongers would be well advised to keep in mind that the DPRK is no longer restrained" by the 1953 Korean War armistice, which the North said it had nullified on Monday, the statement continued, using the initials for the North’s formal name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
In the high-strung language that North Korean official statements often adopt at times of tension with the outside world, sexism and personal vitriol are not uncommon. The country once called Hillary Clinton, the former U.S. secretary of state, a “minister in a skirt," and it deemed various senior U.S. and South Korean officials to be “human scum," “war maniacs" and “running dogs."