N Korea holds mass rally against S Korea’s LeeAgence France-Presse . Seoul
North Korea on Friday held a mass rally vowing to ‘wipe out’ South Korean president Lee Myung-Bak for alleged insults during Pyongyang’s anniversary celebrations, state media reported.
Troops and civilians packed Pyongyang’s Kim Il-Sung Square, live television pictures showed.
They met ‘to vow to wipe out the Lee Myung-Bak group, sworn enemy, to the last man on this land and under this sky’, the state news agency said.
Crowds demonstrated ‘resentment and hatred for the group of rat-like Lee Myung Bak-which hurt again the dignity of the supreme leadership’ of the North, it added.
The rally came one day after the North demanded South Korea apologise for the perceived insults or face a ‘sacred war’.
Speakers were shown screaming hatred for the conservative South Korean leader as the crowd responded with shouts of ‘Tear the group of rats to death!’
A soldier told the rally that troops ‘are determined to punish the rats mercilessly with guns and rifles.
‘Let’s completely wipe out the (presidential) Blue House and the origin of provocations,’ the soldier added. ‘We have the strongest military means to strike them.’
A giant caricature showed the South Korean leader with his throat cut.
The North in recent months has mounted a vitriolic propaganda campaign against Lee.
It accused him of ‘high treason’ for restricting mourning visits by South Koreans to Pyongyang after the death of the North’s leader Kim Jong-Il last December.
This week, it has accused him of ‘desecrating’ mass celebrations marking the 100th anniversary on April 15 of the birth of founding president Kim Il-Sung.
It bridled at anti-Pyongyang demonstrations staged in Seoul and at comments by Lee and conservative media.
The South’s leaders and newspapers have questioned the overall cost of the anniversary celebrations in a nation suffering acute food shortages.
Lee said the estimated $850 million cost of a satellite launch intended to mark the anniversary could have bought 2.5 million tons of corn.
Cross-border tensions have been high since Lee took office in February 2008 and scrapped a policy of near-unconditional aid to the North.
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