North Korea issued a threat to the South of unspecified retribution for a perceived snub to its leadership in Pyongyang.
“The sea of bloody tears from our military and people will follow the puppet regime until the end. The tears will turn into a sea of revengeful fire that burns everything,” it said.
An official statement in the name of the powerful National Defense Commission, rather than an individual, is rare, according to the Seoul-based Yonhap news agency.
The statement, read out on state TV, accused South Korea of banning its people from visiting Pyongyang to offer condolences and of seeking to drive a wedge between ordinary North Koreans and the North’s leadership over leader Kim Jong-Il’s death.
“We will surely force the group of traitors to pay for its hideous crimes committed at the time of the great national misfortune,” read the statement, referring to Seoul’s decision not to send an official delegation to Kim’s funeral.
“We solemnly and proudly declare to foolish politicians in the world, including South Korean puppets, that they should not expect any changes from us,” the statement continued.”
The world shall clearly see how the millions of our soldiers and people, who united firmly round great leader comrade Kim Jong-Un to transform sorrow into courage and tears into strength, will achieve the final victory,” read the statement.
“The scene of pan-national grieving by the people and military… shows the party, military and people united round the revolutionary leadership with one mind, and the invincibility of our socialist system and regime that cannot be toppled,” the statement said.
Seoul only approved a trip to the funeral by private delegations led by two high-profile women who have ties with North Korea.
A South Korean official told Yonhap the statement was “disappointing”.