North Korea Warns South Korean President of 'Catastrophic Consequences'

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01 April 2008

North Korea has singled out South Korea's president for harsh criticism, for the first time since he took office. Meanwhile, the chief American envoy to talks aimed ending North Korea's nuclear weapons is in Seoul, warning time is "running out" for the North to fulfill its diplomatic promises. VOA Seoul correspondent Kurt Achin reports.

The chief American delegate to those talks, Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill, arrived in Seoul. He warns the delay cannot go on indefinitely.

"I hope we can figure out a way to get through this, but, obviously, we are kind of running out of time right now," said Hill.

The main sticking points of the stalled declaration are U.S. accusations the North pursued a secret uranium-based weapons program and suspicions Pyongyang may have helped Syria build a nuclear facility. The North has denied both allegations.

South Korean officials have kept quiet about Tuesday's media criticism from the North, which comes just days after North Korean media threatened to turn South Korea to a "sea of ashes." U.S. envoy Hill describes that editorial as "completely inappropriate and out of line."