North Korea claims South is hyping up its threats

South Korean Acting President Hwang Kyo Ahn has been called a "traitor" by the North.
South Korean Acting President Hwang Kyo Ahn has been called a "traitor" by the North.

PYONGYANG • North Korea has accused South Korean Acting President Hwang Kyo Ahn of trying to keep conservative forces in power by hyping up threats from the north, said its official media yesterday.

Mr Hwang had warned of "tougher counteraction" and "retaliatory punishment" if the North carried out a sixth nuclear test or other provocation to mark a key anniversary earlier this week.

A spokesman for the Policy Department of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea also called Mr Hwang a "traitor", according to comments in the Korean Central News Agency yesterday.

"Even the US, upset by the rapidly developing nuclear attack capability of (North Korea), is flustering by hurling its strategic assets. It is ridiculous for the South Korean puppet group to talk about 'retaliatory punishment'," said the spokesman.

"How Hwang is behaving reveals the uneasiness of the South Korean conservative group... and betrays his sinister ploy to rally the conservative forces by inciting a security crisis ahead of the presidential election."

The election will be held on May 9. Earlier this month, the Rodong Sinmun, North Korea's main newspaper, said the conservative bloc in South Korea should not be allowed to take power again. In response, South Korea's Unification Ministry said North Korea was seeking to interfere with the election by driving a wedge among the voters in the South, Yonhap news agency reported.

"It is nothing new that North Korea is trying to interfere in South Korean politics," ministry spokesman Lee Duk Haeng said.

"North Korea should stop its anachronistic behaviour."

XINHUA

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 29, 2017, with the headline 'North Korea claims South is hyping up its threats'. Print Edition | Subscribe