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The newspaper of North Korea's ruling communist party, Rodong Sinmun, has slammed the South's conservative leader Park Geun-Hye for seeking stronger sanctions against Pyongyang following its nuclear and missile tests. Headlines in the full-page coverage described Park, 64, as a "murderous devil" and "senile old woman" apparently seeking to topple the North's government with her recent moves to punish Pyongyang.
"This tailless crazy old bitch called Park Geun-hye is heaping further misery on our people, already suffering from the tragedy of division," one article said. Another castigated Park as the "dumbest of the dumb" for inflicting what it called massive financial damage on Seoul firms with the shock closure of the Kaesong estate in the North.
"This invalid, morally depraved human being… never showed any goodwill for other human beings as well as her people," it said.
The North has habitually mounted highly sexist personal attacks on Park, who has taken a tough stance towards the North. It has likened her to a "peasant woman babbling to herself in the corner of her room" or a "prostitute" eager to please US President Barack Obama.
Earlier, Park warned that North Korea must either change its ways or face the collapse of its regime. She added that Kim Jong-un's authoritarian government is an 'extreme reign of terror' and used his name three times. It is believed that Kim has never referred to Park by name in his rare public speeches.
Seoul's unification ministry, which handles cross-border affairs, said in a statement: "We express strong regret over… the North's personal attacks that targeted our head of state with such base, vulgar language. The North should… immediately stop such vulgar attacks."
Earlier in February, North Korea launched a satellite into orbit in what many saw as a disguised test of a long-range ballistic missile banned under UN resolutions. The widely-condemned launch, following Pyongyang's fourth nuclear test in January, sharply raised tension and prompted Park to close a joint inter-Korea industrial zone as a reprisal.
The war of words comes as North Korean state media, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), confirmed the country has a new military chief following reports that the former holder of the post had been executed. Ri Myong-Su, former People's Security Minister, was referred to as "chief of the Korean People's Army General Staff".
His predecessor Ri Yong-Gil was reportedly executed early in February in what would be the latest in a series of purges and executions of top officials.