Pyongyang Threatens Sacred War Ahead of Kunming Talks

Posted June 28th, 2011 at 11:45 pm (UTC-5)
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North Korea has leveled new threats of “sacred war” against it southern neighbor, just hours before a meeting with South Korean officials and businessmen to discuss the future of a North Korean tourist resort.

North Korea's official KCNA news agency quoted an unnamed official Wednesday as saying South Korean army units had displayed slogans slandering their Northern counterparts. The official said the Seoul government should apologize and punish the culprits or it will not escape “unpredictably disastrous consequences.”

The nature of the alleged slanders was not clear. However Pyongyang was angered earlier this month by reports that South Korean soldiers were using photographs of its leader Kim Jong Il and his son Kim Jong Un for rifle range targets. That practice has been halted.

The latest flare-up came as a South Korean delegation headed for the North Korean mountain resort of Kunming to discuss a dispute that has halted visits to the resort since 2008.

South Korea has refused to allow more visits until North Korea takes steps to prevent a recurrence of an incident in which guards killed a South Korean tourist who strayed into a restricted military zone near the resort.

North Korea, angered at the loss of a source of hard currency, recently announced it is seizing the assets in Kunming of a South Korean tour company controlled by the Hyundai corporation.