SEOUL - North Korea accused South Korean President Park Geun-Hye of "moral vulgarity" Wednesday after she suggested she was ready to hold a summit with its leader Kim Jong-Un at any time.
The North's Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea accused Park of talking about a summit with Kim while making provocative remarks against Pyongyang.
"Park's remark about 'summit talks' does not deserve even a passing note and is just a last resort to tide over the political crisis inside and outside," the state body said in a statement.
The statement, carried by the North's official news agency, was a response to Park's comments in an interview published last week by the French daily Le Figaro.
Park said she was willing to hold a summit with Kim at any time if it were necessary to improve cross-border relations and promote peace on the Korean peninsula.
But her senior press secretary, Lee Jung-Hyun, cautioned against reading too much into her comment, calling it "an answer in principle".
Park visited Paris on Saturday, the first leg of her three-nation trip that would also bring her to Britain and Belgium.
The North's committee denounced Park's remark as "ridiculous sophism that will work on nobody".
"Her coarse outpourings against the North while saying she is set to have a 'summit' at any time prove that she has no stand to have 'summit talks' and show her moral vulgarity and impertinence bereft of common sense," it said.
"(North Korea) will never pardon those who dare insult and make a fool of the dignity of its supreme leadership under the signboard of 'summit talks'," it said.
The committee urged Park to halt "provocative words and acts", and to have "good manners" if she sincerely hopes to meet with Kim.
Military tensions, which soared following the North's nuclear test in February, appeared to enter a rapprochement stage that saw the two rivals agree to reopen their joint industrial park in the North Korean border city of Kaesong.
The mood quickly soured again when Pyongyang cancelled a scheduled reunion last month for family members separated by the Korean War.
South Korean army chief Kwon Oh-Sung told a forum Wednesday that Kim could make a provocative move in an attempt to take a strategic initiative in stagnant relations with Seoul.
"There is a very high chance of provocation by North Korea's Kim Jong-Un regime to turn the tide and take the lead in inter-Korean relations," he said.