North Korea issued a furious attack on Donald Rumsfeld yesterday, describing the US defense secretary as a butcher worse than Hitler after he described the Pyongyang regime as "evil."
The statement released by the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said Rumsfeld's comments, made during his visit to South Korea this week, "cannot but cast a doubt about the prospect of the six-way talks" on the North's nuclear crisis.
"It is nothing surprising that Rumsfeld talked such nonsense as he put Hitler into the shade in man-killing and war hysteria. But we can never pardon him for malignantly slandering our dignified and inviolable political system whether he is a political dwarf, human scum or hysteric," the statement said.
"His hands are stained with the blood shed by so many people. He is, indeed, a human butcher and fascist tyrant who puts an ogre to shame."
Rumsfeld, who spent three days in South Korea this week, branded North Korea "evil" for spending money on weapons while starving its people.
In comments reminiscent of US President George W. Bush's "axis of evil" speech, Rumsfeld told hundreds of US airmen and women based here that the divide between the communist North and capitalist South was now "so great the people in the North, repressed people to be sure, watch their children waste away, eat [tree] bark, as that evil regime spends huge sums on weapons."
The North Korean statement also described Rumsfeld as a "kingpin of evil" and condemned the US' decision to wage pre-emptive war on Iraq.
North Korea joined talks with the US, South Korea, Japan, China and Russia in August on its nuclear program with a second round expected next month.