NK-Park address

SEOUL, March 27 (Yonhap) -- North Korea on Wednesday blasted the memorial speech given by South Korean President Park Geun-hye to mark the third anniversary of the sinking of a warship that left 46 sailors dead.

The spokesman for the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland said in a question and answer session with the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) that Park's remarks made at Daejeon National Cemetery, 164 kilometers south of Seoul, on Tuesday represented "an unpardonable provocation against the DPRK and a blatant challenge to it."

The DPRK stands for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the North's official name.

The official said Park slandered the social system in the North by talking about "hunger" and "isolation" and "let loose a string of confrontational rhetoric."

Park urged the communist country to change for the better to take care of its people and said that it must immediately abandon any thought that nuclear weapons will protect its regime.

"The only way North Korea will survive is if it voluntarily lays down its nuclear weapons, missiles, provocations and threats and transform into a responsible member of the international community," she said.

The North's committee in charge of holding talks and engaging in inter-Korean cooperation also said the claims that the North is responsible for the sinking of the Cheonan are a fabrication of the truth.

A probe conducted by international experts concluded that a North Korean torpedo probably fired from a submarine sank the corvette on March 26, 2010, although Pyongyang has persistently argued it had nothing to do with the incident.

"The sinking case is a hideous farce orchestrated by the group of (former President) Lee Myung-bak as part of its moves for confrontation and war against the DPRK." the official told KCNA, adding that the truth of the case has already been brought to light.

He claimed that the new administration occupying South Korea's presidential office Cheong Wa Dae is repeating the same confrontation racket of the proceeding regime.

"(Such remarks) clearly show that the present regime is a confrontation-minded regime little different from the Lee Myung-bak regime," the official said, and pointed out that Pyongyang warned against Park's "venomous remarks" made in the past.

He said that South Korea is now warned again that heightened confrontational frenzy is pushing the DPRK's patience and self-restraint to the limit.

The official said Park should act with discretion and that inter-Korean relations are at an all time low, increasing the danger of an all-out war on the Korean Peninsula.

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