South Korea's defense ministry ramped up its criticism of North Korea Monday, even going as far as to say the regime must disappear soon.
Defense Ministry Spokesperson Kim Min-seok said during a press briefing that North Korea is not a real country and exists solely for the benefit of one person -- referring to its young dictator Kim Jong-un.
"Can North Korea even be regarded as a country? Is there human rights? Is there freedom? It continues to make false claims that are historically retrograde. It's a country that cannot exist and should disappear soon."
The comments, which came as a response to North Korea's denial of responsibility over the three drones found near the inter-Korean border earlier this year, will likely draw the ire of Pyongyang.
While South Korea has been highly critical of North Korea's nuclear ambitions, its latest remarks contain much stronger language than usual.
Seoul tries to avoid commenting on anything that could be interpreted as a collapse of the North Korean regime over worries of provoking Pyongyang.
The two Koreas had agreed earlier this year to end all cross-border slandering but North Korea has not complied, hurling sexist and racist remarks against the leaders of South Korea and the United States ever since President Obama's visit to Seoul late last month.
The two leaders had vowed then to stand shoulder-to-shoulder against any North Korean provocations.
Renewed inter-Korean tensions are sparking concerns of a fourth nuclear test by North Korea in protest of what it calls U.S. and South Korean hostilities.
Hwang Sung-hee, Arirang News.