The recent spate of verbal attacks between the two Koreas is eroding hopes of an improvement in inter-Korean ties.
The latest barb was North Korea's threat to wipe out the South Korean government.
So, what sparked such fury?
It was South Korean Defense Ministry Spokesperson Kim Min-seok's unusually blunt remark on Monday.
"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."
North Korea's powerful National Defense Commission said Tuesday the comments mirrored South Korea's ambitions for reunification based on the South absorbing the North.
It said the North Korean people are demanding an all-out attack on Seoul and vowed to wipe out President Park Geun-hye and South Korean military officials entirely with merciless force.
The two Koreas had agreed earlier this year to end all cross-border slandering.
That promise was broken by Pyongyang about a month later, after the South Korean leader gave a reunification speech in Dresden, Germany and laid out her vision for a reunified Korea.
Since then, North has been hurling sexist remarks at President Park, calling her names like an "old prostitute."
Seoul's Unification Ministry on Wednesday urged Pyongyang for an immediate end to such derogatory attacks.
Experts say the intensifying war of words will lead to a prolonged confrontation between the two Koreas.
"With no progress in resolving the North Korean nuclear issue and the two Koreas constantly exchanging negative words, inter-Korean relations will be on thin ice for the time being."
But they say the possibility of the verbal battle leading to a North Korean provocation, like a fourth nuclear test, remains slim for now.
Hwang Sung-hee, Arirang News.