SEOUL – North Korea on Wednesday called South Korean President Park Geun-hye a “psychopath” after she made a speech slamming Pyongyang’s nuclear ambitions and defending the deployment of a U.S. anti-missile system.
In her televised address on Monday, Park had stressed that deploying the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system is an act of “self-defense” in response to the North’s expanding nuclear weapons program.
A spokesman for the North’s Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Country said Park’s argument is “preposterous” and unfounded.
“This is just a lame excuse, and she should know that no one will be taken in by such sophism of a puppet that can do nothing without an approval of her U.S. master,” the spokesman said.
“This is no more than nonsense talked by a psychopath,” he added in a statement carried by the North’s official KCNA news agency.
North Korea has threatened to take “physical action” against the THAAD deployment, saying any South Korean ports and airfields hosting U.S. military hardware would become a target.
Beijing is also opposed to the move, seeing it as a U.S. bid to flex its military muscle in the region and undermine China’s own missile capabilities.
The U.S. Army’s chief of staff, Gen. Mark A. Milley, addressed those concerns during talks on Tuesday with his Chinese counterpart, Gen. Li Zuocheng, in Beijing. THAAD is “not a threat in any way to China,” Milley told Li, according to a U.S. Army statement.
Deploying the system “is a defensive measure to protect South Koreans and Americans from the North Korean ballistic missile threat,” he added.
Milley was to hold talks with top South Korean military officials in Seoul on Wednesday.