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In what was likely to only increase tensions between the United States and North Korean surrounding its continued nuclear program, Pyongyang likened the behavior of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on the matter to that of a "primary schoolgirl."
The statement follows one made by Clinton in which she compared the North Korean regime to a child demanding attention. She made her comment in an ABC interview broadcast Monday from India, accusing Pyongyang of using its nuclear program and missile launches to get Washington's attention. She said Washington would not be baited into overreacting to the North's provocations.
"Maybe it's the mother in me, the experience I've had with small children and teenagers and people who are demanding attention: Don't give it to them," she said in the interview.
On Thursday, the North's Foreign Ministry blasted the remark, saying the country is seeking nobody's attention.
The North "has taken necessary measures to protect the nation's sovereignty and right to existence to cope with the US hostile policy and nuclear threat, not to attract anyone's attention," the ministry said in a statement carried by the official Korean Central News Agency.
"We cannot but regard Mrs. Clinton as a funny lady as she likes to utter such rhetoric, unaware of the elementary etiquette in the international community. Sometimes she looks like a primary schoolgirl," it said.
The ministry added: "Anyone making misstatements has to pay for them," but did not elaborate.
North Korea and the US have been locked in a standoff for years over Pyongyang's nuclear programs.
The North quit international talks on its nuclear programs in April, conducted its second atomic test in May and launched a series of banned ballistic missiles earlier this month.
A North Korean official attending an Asian security conference in Phuket, Thailand, said Thursday his country will not resume the nuclear talks.