North Korea Slams South’s Claim Kim Wants Reunification by Force

North Korea bristled at comments by the head of South Korea’s intelligence service that leader Kim Jong Un will seek to reunite the two countries by force within three years.

The remarks are a smear campaign against North Korea, and the head of South Korea’s National Intelligence Service will “meet the most shameful end” for it, the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea said today in a statement distributed by the official Korean Central News Agency.

NIS chief Nam Jae Joon commented on Kim’s possible intentions earlier this month, according to South Korean ruling Saenuri party legislator Cho Won Jin. Cho didn’t say how Nam obtained his information.

“This is essentially a denial” by North Korea, Lee Ji Sue, a professor of North Korean studies at Myongji University in Seoul, said by phone. “But it’s one that can’t be trusted entirely. North Korea may be trying to incite criticism against Nam to divide the South Korean public opinion.”

Kim took over the North after his father and longtime ruler Kim Jong Il died in late 2011. The country has since conducted its third nuclear test and threatened first strikes against South Korea and the U.S.

Nam also said that the North had restarted its main nuclear reactor at Yongbyon, Cho said Oct. 8. The site had been mothballed under a 2007 disarmament agreement.

The NIS declined to comment on the North Korean statement.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sam Kim in Seoul at skim609@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Rosalind Mathieson at rmathieson3@bloomberg.net

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