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North Korea Issues Sexist Tirade Against South Korean Leader

North Korea apparently doesn't like either of them: President Obama and South Korean President Park Geun-hye at a news conference in Seoul, South Korea, on Friday.
Carolyn Kaster
North Korea apparently doesn't like either of them: President Obama and South Korean President Park Geun-hye at a news conference in Seoul, South Korea, on Friday.

North Korea isn't exactly known for its light touch: It has referred to its foes as a "rat-like group of bastards," a "shameless political dwarf" and even a "swish of skirt."

That aforementioned "swish of skirt" is the target of North Korea's latest diatribe.

The Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea, which is the body tasked with uniting the two countries, called South Korean President Park Geun-hye a "capricious whore who asks her fancy man to do harm to other person while providing sex to him." The "fancy man" in question: President Obama, who visited ally South Korea last week for two days.

The comments were reported by KCNA, North Korea's official news agency.

The story went on to call Park a "dirty comfort woman for the U.S. and despicable prostitute selling off the nation." That epithet is likely to anger many South Koreans because of the Korean women who were kept as sex slaves by the Japanese during World War II.

The Guardian notes:

"While Pyongyang is known for its aggressive rhetoric, recent remarks have been unusually personal.

"Earlier this month state media ran misogynist articles, including one headlined 'We accuse Park the bitch,' labelling her as a lunatic, idiot and 'cold-blooded animal' and emphasising the fact that she has never married or had children.

"Those remarks were presented in the form of quotes from ordinary North Koreans, while the latest tirade, carried by state news agency KCNA, is presented as a statement from an official body."

At a news conference with Park in Seoul, Obama said it was time to consider further sanctions against the North, which is believed to be planning another nuclear test. The South Korean leader said the U.S. president's visit sent a strong signal to Pyongyang that "its provocative acts cannot be tolerated."

NPR's Michele Kelemen is reporting on the story for All Things Considered, and she spoke to Scott Snyder, a senior fellow for Korea studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. (You can listen to the story on All Things Considered at 4 p.m. ET.)

Snyder said while the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea is known for its propaganda, the latest episode was more high-decibel than usual. But, he told Michele, there is a bright side:

"One way of measuring the success of U.S.-ROK summits is how the North Koreans respond, and by that measure I would say that this meeting — President Obama's trip to South Korea — was very successful."

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Krishnadev Calamur is NPR's deputy Washington editor. In this role, he helps oversee planning of the Washington desk's news coverage. He also edits NPR's Supreme Court coverage. Previously, Calamur was an editor and staff writer at The Atlantic. This is his second stint at NPR, having previously worked on NPR's website from 2008-15. Calamur received an M.A. in journalism from the University of Missouri.
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