North Korea slammed the US on Thursday for "interference" in inter-Korean relations in scathing criticism of an earlier statement from Washington.
In a statement carried by state-run media, North Korea's Director General of US Affairs Kwon Jong Gun said the US' comments about Seoul-Pyongyang relations was "ridiculous."
"No one is entitled to say this or that about the inter-Korean relations as the relations pertain to the internal affairs of the Korean nation from A to Z," said Kwon.
The spokeswoman of the US State Department had told Anadolu Agency that Washington "always supported progress" in inter-Korean relations, and that Washington was "disappointed in the DPRK’s recent actions."
DPRK stands for Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea, the official name of North Korea.
The spat follows reporting from North Korea's state media that it “would completely cut off and shut down" all communication lines with South Korea in retaliation for what it said are Seoul’s "conniving hostile acts" against Pyongyang, which have "driven inter-Korean relations into a catastrophe."
However, Pyongyang said the incident was an example of "the disgusting double-dealing attitudes of the US that feels uneasy over any sign of the improvement in the inter-Korean relations and pretends to get very anxious if the relations get worse."
"How can the disappointment touted by the US be compared with the extreme dismay and resentment we are feeling at the U.S. and the South Korean authorities that have repeated betrayal and provocation for the last 2 years?” Kwon asked.
"If the US pokes its nose into others' affairs with careless remarks, far from minding its internal affairs, at a time when its political situation is in the worst-ever confusion, it may encounter an unpleasant thing hard to deal with," he warned. "It would be good not only for the US interests but also for the easy holding of upcoming presidential election."
US elections are set for November when President Donald Trump will seek second term.
"[...]There would be no need for the US to face disaster for others while playing the protector of South Korea," the North Korean official added.
"The US had better hold its tongue and mind its internal affairs first if it doesn't want to experience horrible thing," Kwon added.