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Pyongyang raps South Korean president for defending THAAD


North Korea has lambasted the South Korean president’s latest anti-Pyongyang speech defending the deployment of an advanced US missile system in her country, saying she is to blame for deteriorating inter-Korean relations.

In a statement carried by the North’s official KCNA news agency on Tuesday, the North Korean Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Country rejected Park Geun-hye’s recent speech as “preposterous” and unfounded, saying her statements “were no more than nonsense.”

In a Monday address, Park had voiced support for the deployment of the so-called Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system, which is due to be installed by the end of next year in South Korea, calling it “an act of self-defense” against alleged threats from Pyongyang.

She had also called on the northern neighbor to “immediately stop all provocations and threats targeting South Korea as well as the development of weapons of mass destruction,” including its nuclear weapons program.

South Korean President Park Geun-hye delivers a speech on Liberation Day in Seoul, August 15, 2016. ©Reuters
The KCNA report quoted a spokesman for the North Korean committee as saying that the remarks were “just a lame excuse and she should know that no one will be taken in by such sophism of a puppet that can do nothing without an approval of her US master.”

According to a report by the South’s Yonhap news agency, the North Korean committee also said Park’s speech was full of “imprudent” remarks aimed at covering up her actions which are driving ties between the two neighbors into a “catastrophe.”

In July, Seoul and Washington announced an agreement on the THAAD installation on the South Korean soil, claiming that the move is aimed at defending the Asian state against what they called nuclear and missile threats from the North.

However, the controversial accord has been met with opposition both in South Korea and abroad.

Over the past weeks, South Koreans have held numerous protest rallies to show their anger over the planned deployment.

South Korean farmers stage a protest demanding the decision to deploy a US missile system in their hometown be scrapped, in central Seoul on July 21, 2016. ©AFP
North Korea has threatened to carry out “physical action” in response to the measure.

China and Russia have also voiced opposition to the deployment, saying the system would threaten security, stability and peace on the Korean Peninsula and cannot help denuclearize the volatile region.

Moscow and Beijing view the planned move as an attempt to put their military facilities within the range of US radars.

Pyongyang has been under UN sanctions over its nuclear tests and launching missiles considered by the US and South Korea as ballistic and aimed at delivering nuclear warheads.

North Korea, however, says it will not give up on its nuclear “deterrence” unless Washington ends its hostile policy toward Pyongyang and dissolves the US-led command in South Korea.

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