Updated: 04/02/2014 01:46 | By Agence France-Presse

S. Korea urges North to stop 'senseless' attacks on Park

South Korea on Tuesday urged North Korea to stop making "senseless" personal attacks on President Park Geun-Hye following a series of increasingly vitriolic diatribes published by Pyongyang's state media.

S. Korea urges North to stop 'senseless' attacks on Park

South Korean President Park Geun-hye speaks as she visits the show "DMZ - Gruenes Band" (Demilitarized Zone - Green Belt) and remains of the Berlin Wall at the so-called East Side Gallery on March 27, 2014 in Berlin - by Johannes Eisele

A government statement called on the North to "act discreetly" in line with a recent cross-border agreement for the two countries to stop slandering one another. 

"The North is showing senseless behaviour in using unspeakable language to attack our head of state's diplomatic activities," it said.

The tone of the criticism has become pointedly more personal and coarse in recent days, both in the editorial pages of the ruling party newspaper the Rodong Sinmun and the official KCNA news agency.

The attacks have ostensibly been a response to speeches Park gave during a recent tour of Europe, saying Pyongyang's nuclear material could end up in terrorist hands, and warning of a possible Chernobyl-style disaster at the North's main Yongbyong nuclear complex.

In Berlin, she spoke of the lessons Germany could provide for unification of the Korean peninsula and urged the North to give up its nuclear weapons.

"Park Geun-Hye's nonsense gibberish and ugly behaviour... leave us disgusted and disillusioned," the Rodong Sinmun said Tuesday. 

Park's predecessor, Lee Myung-Bak was also the target of highly personal criticism by the North's state media, but the attacks on Park have been notable for their repeated allusions to her gender as the South's first woman president.

"Park put thick makeup on her old, wrinkled face and rambled on," was KCNA's verdict on her address in Germany.

"She can't dump her true nature of the peasant woman who babbles to herself at home.

"No wonder she is being criticised by the whole world as a 'low-quality politician' who does not know what and what not to speak about," the agency said.

One KCNA despatch on Tuesday included quotes apparently harvested from random Pyongyang residents.

"That talkative peasant woman needs to stop swishing her skirt," one resident said, employing a derogatory Korean term used to criticise women seen as overly bossy or domineering. 

One doctor in a Pyongyang hospital was quoted as saying Park's actions would make "even a cow tethered in a field laugh."

Since assuming office a year ago, Park has repeatedly spoken of her desire to build trust with Pyongyang, while remaining firm in the face of any provocation from the North.

The policy appeared to be paying off when the two sides in February held the first reunion in three years for families separated by the Korean War.

Since then, tensions have risen and on Monday the two sides fired hundreds of artillery shells into each other's territorial waters, as South Korea responded to a live-fire drill by the North.

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