SEOUL (AFP) - North Korea issued a scathing personal attack on Thursday on South Korean President Park Geun Hye, accusing her of breaking a moratorium on cross-border insults and behaving like a "blabbering" peasant woman.
The attack referenced a speech Park made on Monday at a nuclear summit in The Hague in which she voiced concern that Pyongyang's nuclear material could end up in terrorist hands, and warned of a possible Chernobyl-style disaster at the North's main Yongbyong nuclear complex.
A spokesman for the North's Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea (CPRK) said Park's remarks "violently trampled" on an agreement reached at rare, high-level talks last month for the two Koreas to stop "slandering" one another.
If Park genuinely wants to see improvements in inter-Korean relations, "she first has to stop rambling recklessly and learn how to speak with discretion", the spokesman said in a statement carried by the North's official KCNA news agency.
"Even if someone else wrote the dumb speech for her to read from, she should at least know what and what not to say... in order not to embarrass herself.
"She should realise she is no longer a peasant woman blabbering to herself in the corner of her room but the occupant of the (presidential) Blue House," he said.
North Korea has made similarly vitriolic attacks on Park in the past, but this was the first since last month's agreement.
North Korea had pushed hard for the "no slander" clause, which observers said was always going to prove problematic.
North Korea insists it should extend to the media and private groups and individuals, while South Korea argues that it cannot restrict freedom of speech.
Seoul is also unlikely to accept that Park's comments at the nuclear summit amounted to slander.
The CPRK statement came at a time of simmering military tensions on the Korean peninsula.
The North on Wednesday test-fired two medium-range ballistic missiles, as US President Barack Obama hosted a landmark Japan-South Korea summit aimed at uniting the three nations against Pyongyang's nuclear threat.
United Nations resolutions prohibit North Korea from conducting ballistic missile tests and the UN Security Council was set to hold closed-door consultations on Thursday to discuss a possible condemnation of the latest missile launches.