NK-president criticism

SEOUL, March 29 (Yonhap) -- North Korea has steadily raised the level of attacks directed at South Korean President Park Geun-hye as the country ratchets up tension following its third nuclear test, local observers said Friday.

Observers in Seoul said the communist country is using quasi-government organizations like the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland to criticize the chief executive who took office on Feb. 25.

The secretariat for the committee in charge of carrying out talks with the South issued a report highlighting that the "swish of skirt" by the new owner of Cheong Wa Dae is becoming more malicious and is related to the spike in provocations by anti-North Korean agitators in Seoul. Cheong Wa Dae is the name of South Korea's presidential office.

The country has so far not directly attacked Park by name to blast the new administration's North Korean policies, but it has escalated the scope and intensity of its criticism since it first made a swipe at South Korea's first female chief executive on March 13.

Besides the committee, Uriminzokkiri, the country's main Internet-based media and propaganda website, warned that the Cheong Wa Dae master should be ready to be "severely burnt" for her decision to hold onto to the warmonger Kim Kwan-jin as defense minister.

The North has persistently lashed out at Kim for his hard-line stance towards the North, and for ordering frontline troops to react forcefully and decisively to all North Korean military provocations.

The latest verbal attacks, meanwhile, come just days after the North accused Park's administration of fueling confrontation with the communist country by claiming that Pyongyang was responsible for the sinking of a South Korean warship on March 26, 2010. The sinking of the Cheonan left 46 sailors dead and caused Seoul to suspend all cooperative relations with the North.

A South Korean-led investigative team said a North Korean torpedo, possibly fired from a submarine, sank the corvette off waters near the Northern Limit Line (NLL). The North has denied all charges. The NLL is the sea demarcation line that has seen nuclear naval clashes in the past.

Related to the escalation in attacks, North Korean watchers in Seoul speculate that it is only a matter of time before Pyongyang starts to attack Park by name.

Since taking office, the North has warned the new president not to follow in the confrontational policy footsteps of her immediate predecessor former President Lee Myung-bak.

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