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N.K. warns war would obliterate South Korea

North Korea said Tuesday South Korea would be reduced to ashes if a war broke out on the Korean Peninsula, in the latest verbal attack against President Park Geun-hye for her unification initiative.

Park has called for, among other things, the bolstering of cross-border exchanges as a first step toward building trust between the sides to lay the groundwork for unification of the two Koreas.

She unveiled the proposal, called the Dresden Declaration, during her trip to the former East German city of Dresden last month.

Still, the North claimed that Park‘s initiative was designed to hurt its socialist system and to bring about unification under a democratic system.

The Koreas have been divided for over six decades following the 1950-53 Korean War, which ended in a cease-fire, not a peace treaty.

The North’s main newspaper, the Rodong Sinmun, said that a war could break out if the rival Koreas seek unification without making concessions in their political systems.

“A war would reduce South Korea to ashes and make it return to the stone age,” the newspaper said.

On Tuesday, the newspaper called Park a “pathetic political prostitute” for inciting confrontation with the North, in cahoots with U.S. President Barack Obama, who was in Seoul last week for summit talks.

The vulgar slander came shortly after Sunday‘s verbal attack that called the unmarried female leader a “despicable prostitute.”

Park warned North Korea last week that a “new form” of provocation that Pyongyang has been threatening would lead to new levels of pressure from the international community. She also said Seoul and Washington are working together to advance accountability for serious human rights violations by the leadership in Pyongyang.

North Korea has long been accused of grave human rights abuses ranging from holding hundreds of thousands of political prisoners in concentration camps to committing torture and carrying out public executions.

Also on Tuesday, Susan Sholte, an American human rights activist, called for efforts to dismantle the North’s concentration camps during a news conference in the National Assembly.

Sholte is in Seoul to attend the North Korea Freedom Week, which began Monday and set to run through May 5. The annual event, held in Seoul, Washington and other cities, is meant to raise public awareness of the dismal human rights situation in the reclusive country. (Yonhap)