In its latest strained overture to South Korea, the North has called for a change of tone, suggesting that both sides stop insulting each other as of January 30. The North's "important proposal" also requests South Korea end its annual military drills with the United States, which is not going to happen. Nor will the insults end, most likely. And that's probably for the best, as far as newspaper-headline writers are concerned, because if there's one thing at which North Korea truly excels, it's finding new ways to insult its Western enemies, domestic troublemakers, and, of course, its neighbor to the south. Below, some classic turns of phrase from the last year that we'll be sorry to see go, should the North by some miracle follow through with its threat to end this kind of talk.
"Despicable human scum Jang, who was worse than a dog, perpetrated thrice-cursed acts of treachery in betrayal," is how a North Korean press release described Jang Song-thae, who was executed last month.
"The group is, indeed, made up of ignorant hooligans hell-bent on hurting the dignity of the supreme leadership of the DPRK and on eclipsing the bright sunlight," the North said of South Korean President Park Geun-hye and her government last year.
"This frenzy kicked up by the South Korean warmongers is in no way irrelevant with the venomous swish of skirt made by the one who again occupies" the presidential Blue House, the North said last year of Park, the country's first female president.
Soldiers should "break the waists of the crazy enemies," Kim Jong-un advised last year, referring to the United States and South Korea.
"This is an intolerable mockery of the social system and the people of the DPRK and a serious human rights abuse that politicizes sports and discriminates against the Koreans," the North said of anybody who wouldn't sell it a ski lift.