North Korea on Wednesday lambasted South Korea’s conservative ruling party and its leading presidential hopeful Park Geun-Hye, linking her ambitions to the dictatorship of her late father Park Chung-Hee.
The comments by Rodong Sinmun, newspaper of the ruling communist party, marked the 51st anniversary of a 1961 military coup by then-Major general Park.
He is credited with spearheading the South’s dramatic economic development until his assassination in 1979, at the cost of serious human rights abuses.
The North in recent months has mounted an unusually extreme campaign of personal abuse against current President Lee Myung-Bak as cross-border ties worsen, terming him a rat and “human scum” among a variety of other insults.
It has also been taking aim at Park, seen as a front-runner in the December presidential election. Lee is constitutionally barred from a second term.
“Nothing can hide the crimes committed by the yusin dictator,” Rodong said in a commentary, referring to Park Chung-Hee’s rule under which political opponents were jailed and tortured.
It said the remnants of Park’s dictatorship are “shameless enough” to project his daughter Geun-Hye in a bid to “gratify the greed for power”.
Lurking behind this was the ulterior motive of the ruling New Frontier Party to stir up nostalgia about the era of economic development under Park in a bid to rally conservative forces and stay in power, the newspaper said.
The North has lashed out at Park Geun-Hye, even though she has distanced herself somewhat from Lee’s hard line on cross-border relations.
“A dictator’s bloodline cannot change away from its viciousness,” it said last month.