North Korea taunts Park over 'humiliating' Washington trip

SEOUL (AFP) - North Korea on Thursday taunted South Korean President Park Geun Hye over what it called her humiliating US summit trip, saying she had been like a "bride dumped by her husband" on their wedding day.

Ms Park's May 6-9 trip to the United States, which included a summit with President Barack Obama, was widely viewed as a success, with the two leaders united in a vow of offering no concessions in dealing with Pyongyang.

Ms Park also addressed a joint session of the US Congress on Wednesday, stressing that North Korea had to give up its nuclear weapons while also proposing small peace steps after months of sky-high tensions.

North Korea chose to focus instead on the absence of US officials to meet Ms Park when she arrived on the first leg of her visit in New York.

"What an embarrassing situation for the head of a state!" said the ruling party's official newspaper, Rodong Sinmun, which did not even mention the later summit at the White House in Washington.

"Park received possibly the most humiliating mistreatment during her much-anticipated visit.

"Park must have flown across the Pacific full of hope, but she ended up looking like a newly-wed bride dumped by her husband on a wedding day," it said.

In reality, Washington made strenuous efforts to cement Mr Obama's relationship with South Korea's first female leader during her visit.

Mr Obama hosted his visitor in the Oval Office, held an expanded luncheon meeting for both delegations, then appeared with Park at a joint White House news conference on Tuesday.

In a choreographed show of unity, Ms Park and Mr Obama pledged to bolster defence cooperation and demanded that the North led by its young leader Kim Jong-Un change course on its nuclear programme.

North Korea had habitually condemned Park's predecessor Lee Myung-Bak - a close Obama ally - as "human trash" and a "mad dog" when he was in office.

Pyongyang in March hit out at South Korean "warmongering" orchestrated by the "poisonous swish of (Park's) skirt", employing a derogatory Korean term used to criticise women seen as domineering.

The North, angered by UN sanctions sparked by its nuclear test in February and joint South-US military drills, has stoked tensions for months with blistering threats of nuclear war against Seoul and Washington.

But friction has appeared to ebb in the past week, with a US defence official saying that North Korea has moved two medium-range missiles off their launch sites.

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