SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea on Monday called South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol “a guy with a trash-like brain” and “a diplomatic idiot” as it blasted him for using a U.N. speech to issue a warning over the North’s deepening military ties with Russia.
In a speech at the U.N. General Assembly last week, Yoon said South Korea “will not sit idly by” if North Korea and Russia agree to weapons deals that would pose a threat to the South.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's trip to Russia earlier this month to meet President Vladimir Putin and visit key military sites raised international concern about a possible push by North Korea to receive sophisticated nuclear and weapons technologies in return for replenishing Russia's conventional arms inventory depleted by its war with Ukraine.
“Puppet traitor Yoon Suk Yeol, even at the 78th U.N. General Assembly, malignantly slandered the relations between (North Korea) and Russia,” the North’s official Korean Central News Agency said in a commentary.
Without addressing the worries about a possible weapons deal with Russia, KCNA said it’s “quite natural” and a “legitimate right” for neighboring countries to keep close ties with each other.
“It’s self-evident that such a guy with a trash-like brain cannot understand the profound and enormous meaning of the development of (North Korea)-Russia friendly relations,” KCNA said. “No one in the world would lend an ear to the hysteric fit of puppet traitor Yoon Suk Yeol, who is only wearing disgraceful ill fames of ‘political immature,’ ‘diplomatic idiot’ and ‘incompetent chief executive.’”
Koo Byoungsam, a spokesperson for South Korea’s Unification Ministry, said the KCNA insults demonstrated North Korea's “substandard system that lacks basic etiquette and common sense.”
Since taking office last year, Yoon, a conservative former prosecutor, has sought to strengthen South Korea’s military alliance with the United States, drawing an angry response from North Korea. Monday’s KCNA dispatch accused Yoon of “voluntarily acting as a servile trumpeter and loudspeaker for the U.S.”
Also Monday, the South Korean and U.S. navies began three days of joint naval drills off the Korean Peninsula's east coast to improve their joint operational capability, according to South Korea’s navy. North Korea views South Korean-U.S. military exercises as invasion rehearsals and typically reacts with its own missile tests.
The U.S. and South Korea have warned that Russia and North Korea will face undefined consequences if they enter into weapons transfer deals in violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions that ban any weapons trade with North Korea. Russia, a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council, endorsed those U.N. resolutions.
In his U.N. speech last Wednesday, Yoon said “It is paradoxical that a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council, entrusted as the ultimate guardian of world peace, would wage war by invading another sovereign nation and receive arms and ammunition from a regime that blatantly violates Security Council resolutions."
Yoon said that if North Korea “acquires the information and technology necessary” to enhance its weapons of mass destruction in exchange for giving conventional weapons to Russia, that would also be unacceptable.
North Korea is notorious for using crude invectives against South Korean and U.S. leaders. It called previous South Korean Presidents Lee Myung-bak and Park Geun-hye “a rat” and “a prostitute” respectively. It described former U.S. President Donald Trump as “a mentally deranged U.S. dotard" and called Barack Obama a monkey.