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North Korea took aim at South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Friday for his rosy comments about the supposed peace dialogue between the two nations, saying that his remarks would make a “boiled head of a cow (fall into) a side-splitting laughter.”
Moon held a televised speech Thursday in which he said that momentum for dialogue remains alive despite the series of “worrying actions taken by North Korea recently.” He also called for Pyongyang to choose “economic prosperity over its nuclear program.”
On Friday, the spokesman for the North’s Committee for Peaceful Reunification of the Country rejected – again – the South’s calls for dialogue, saying that Pyongyang has no current plans to talk with Seoul.
“A sure thing is that the (South) Korean chief executive is (such a) funny man as he just reads what was written by his juniors,” the statement said, while avoiding calling Moon by his name.
The statement also criticized South Korea’s recent acquisition of advanced U.S.-made fighter jets and said it would be “senseless” for Moon to believe that inter-Korean dialogue will automatically begin after the end of the ongoing U.S.-South Korean military drills.
“We have nothing to (talk about) anymore with (South) Korean authorities nor have any (plans) to sit with them again,” the statement said.
The North had recently said it would talk only with Washington and not Seoul, and that inter-Korean dialogue won’t resume unless the South offers a “plausible excuse” on why it keeps hosting military drills with the United States. Seoul’s Unification Ministry, which deals with inter-Korean affairs, criticized the North Korean statement, saying it wouldn’t help efforts to improve relations.
The North’s statement came hours before South Korea’s military detected two projectiles North Korea fired into the sea to expand a torrid streak of weapons display that’s apparently aimed at pressuring Washington and Seoul over their joint drills and slow nuclear negotiations.
South Korea’s Joint Chief of Staff said the projectiles launched from the North’s eastern coast flew about 143 miles on an apogee of 18 miles before landing in waters between the Korean Peninsula and Japan.
A U.S. official confirmed to Fox News that the North had fired two short-range ballistic missiles – for the sixth time in three weeks.
South Korea’s presidential office said national security adviser Chung Eui-yong presided over an emergency National Security Council meeting and Moon was briefed on the launches. The Blue House called for the North to stop launches that risk raising military tensions on the peninsula.
The weapons the North tested in recent weeks included a new rocket artillery system and what security analysts say are two new short-range mobile ballistic missile systems that would potentially expand its ability to strike targets throughout South Korea, including U.S. bases there.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.