North Korea denies drone flights, calls South Korean president `prostitute`

North Korea on Monday accused US and South Korean authorities of fabricating the results of a probe that concluded Pyongyang sent small surveillance drones, or unmanned aircraft, to spy on key South Korean installations in March.

Reuters| Updated: May 12, 2014, 11:52 AM IST

Seoul: North Korea on Monday accused US and South Korean authorities of fabricating the results of a probe that concluded Pyongyang sent small surveillance drones, or unmanned aircraft, to spy on key South Korean installations in March.

A spokesman for the North`s military attacked the United States for what it said was a blindly-backed confrontational conspiracy devised by the government of South Korean President Park Geun-hye, whom it called a "political prostitute".

"If Washington pays heed only to what its stooges trumpet, it is bound to be accused of being a senile grandfather trying to stop a child from crying," the unnamed spokesman said in a statement carried by the official KCNA news agency.

South Korean Ministry of Defence spokesman Kim Min-seok said the North`s statement was "deeply regrettable".

"North Korea isn`t a real country is it? It doesn`t have human rights or freedom. It exists solely to prop up a single person," Kim said at a briefing in Seoul.

North and South Korea are technically still at war after their 1950-53 conflict ended in a truce, not a peace treaty.

The North Korean statement was the latest in a recent series of written attacks by the North against the South Korean president, whom it has previously likened to a "comfort woman".

In April, North Korea described Barack Obama as Park`s "pimp", and in an article this month called the US president a "wicked black monkey".

South Korean and U.S. officials jointly examined three drones that were recovered in three different locations near the Korean border over a two-week period starting in late March.

The second was discovered soon after a three-hour artillery barrage between North and South Korea in waters near a disputed maritime border.

In April, North Korea proposed a joint probe into the crashed drones with the South, but Seoul rejected the proposal.

North Korea said in the statement the joint investigation into the origin of the drones was a "charade", designed to divert public criticism of the South Korean government`s handling of the Sewol ferry tragedy.

Park`s government has faced continued criticism for its handling of the disaster from the families of the ferry victims, many of whom believe a swifter initial response could have saved many more lives.