North Korea slams Cheney as "mentally deranged"
SEOUL (AFP) Apr 19, 2004
North Korea slammed US Vice President Dick Cheney as "mentally deranged" and accused him of using his recent Asian tour to incite bitterness toward the communist country.
"It considered Cheney as a mentally deranged person steeped in the inveterate enmity towards the system in the DPRK (North Korea) long ago as he is the boss of the neo-conservative forces in the US," a North Korean foreign ministry spokesman said late Sunday.
Cheney visited Japan and South Korea last week to step up support for US forces in Iraq and reaffirmed the US demand for complete scrapping of North Korea's nuclear weapons drive.
Cheney also said after talks with Chinese leaders that North Korea could provide nuclear technology to terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda, and warned of a nuclear arms race in Asia if Pyongyang was not stopped.
Pyongyang insists it will freeze its nuclear weapons drive only in return for rewards from the United States.
But Washington demands the complete, verifiable, and irreversible dismantling of North Korean nuclear programs, both plutonium and enriched uranium schemes, before it will offer concessions to the impoverished state.
The North's spokesman insisted linking North Korea to Al-Qaeda was "an expression of total ignorance and nothing but a far-fetched attempt to justify" Washington's hostile policy towards Pyongyang.
"Action is inevitably followed by reaction. The DPRK is seriously contemplating a measure to counter the US oft-repeated demand that it scrap its nuclear program first," he said.
The spokesman said that if Cheney officially made such "reckless" remarks representing the stand of the US administration, this would be not a simple matter.
North Korea "has no idea of dealing with the US any longer if the latter insists on the disgusting CVID (complete, verifiable, and irreversible dismantling)," he said.
Two rounds of six-party talks hosted by China to defuse the crisis have so far failed to narrow differences over the US demand and Pyongyang's denial that it is running an enriched-uranium program.
A new round of talks is expected before the end of June while working parties are supposed to be set up to resolve address contentious issues.