SEOUL - North Korea on Wednesday accused South Korea's new president Park Geun-Hye of slander and provocation after she warned Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear weapons or face collapse.
The North's Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea, a state body in charge of propaganda and inter-Korean affairs, said Park was following the hardline anti-North stance of her predecessor Lee Myung-Bak.
"If she keeps to the road of confrontation like traitor Lee, defying the warnings of the DPRK (North Korea), she will meet a miserable ruin," it said.
The committee urged Park to "behave with discretion, clearly mindful that a wrong word may entail horrible disaster" at a time of elevated military tensions on the Korean peninsula.
"The present chief executive of South Korea made invectives slandering the DPRK," it said, referring to her speech Tuesday marking the third anniversary of the sinking of a naval vessel by what Seoul insists was a North Korean submarine.
Park warned North Korea that its only "path to survival" lay in abandoning its nuclear and missile programmes, and urged Pyongyang to "change course".
The North's committee slammed Park's "confrontational rhetoric", saying it was "an unpardonable provocation... and a blatant challenge.
The committee also repeated a previous sexist swipe at Park, South Korea's first female president, painting her as overbearing and manipulative.
"We have already seriously warned against the venomous swish of skirt," it said.
"Swish of the skirt" (or "chima baram") is a common, derogatory Korean term used to criticise women seen as overly bossy or domineering.
North Korea's propaganda machine criticised Park repeatedly during the presidential campaign, warning that she would adopt the dictatorial methods of her father, the late military strongman Park Chung-Hee.
But it has been cautious in criticising Park since she was sworn in only a month ago as South Korea's first female president.
North Korea carried out a successful long-range rocket test in December and a third nuclear test last month.
Both events triggered UN sanctions that infuriated the North, which has spent the past month issuing increasingly dire threats about unleashing an "all-out war" backed by nuclear weapons.
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