North Korean state newspaper the Rodong Sinmun erupted on Thursday, describing South Korean President Park Geun-hye as a “bitch” and “old cat groaning in her sickbed”.
A trio of articles organized under the headline “We Accuse Park the Bitch” showcased a variety of angry public reactions to a keynote speech Park delivered in Germany last week on Korean reunification.
But while the newspaper had already described her unification strategy as “junk” on Wednesday, the latest material went further, presenting a series of highly personal attacks against the South Korean President.
Much of the criticism focused on the fact that Park, the 62 year old daughter of former authoritarian leader Park Chung-hee, has never married or given birth.
“Park Geun Hye had never married, nor given birth to child. It is really ridiculous that such a cold-blooded animal talked about human affairs, feigning to be concerned about our women and children. It would make even a cat laugh,” Pyongyang doctor Kim Jong Hui reportedly told the Rodong.
Other citizens, however, focused their insults on other areas of her character:
“During her recent trip to some countries, this ugly old maid let loose a strain of abuses at us…She is a pumpkin, a witch full of hatred for her fellow countrymen,” Kim Hyoko, a student at Hamhung Teacher Training College No. 2, reportedly said.
Assistant lecturer at the Chinese University of Hong Kong Steve Chung told NK News on Thursday that the attacks were likely deliberately planned to underscore North Korean discontent with Park’s unification speech:
“Highly personal attacks against Park’s weakest side as an unmarried woman that has never given birth to a child may serve Pyongyang’s interest by showing Park well outside of the traditional image of Korean women,” Chung said.
In particular, the location of Park’s speech – former Eastern Germany – seems to have upset North Korea. One citizen said the location ”glaringly showed [Park's] growing wild ambition of “system unification”" – a reference to how the collapsed GDR political system had little place in unified Germany.
The North frequently levels harsh criticism at South Korea’s presidents, having labeled Park’s predecessor Lee Myung-bak a “traitor” and “scum.” Lee was also depicted as a rat by North Korean media in a series of cartoons showing a variety of bloody deaths.
But while the insults towards the South Korean President dropped significantly after Parks inauguration in February 2012, they have been rising in line with a recent ratcheting of in inter-Korean tensions.
This week the two Koreas engaged in last-minute live-fire drills along the disputed Northern Limit Line, while on Sunday North Korea warned a fourth nuclear test could be in the works.