SEOUL: North Korea blasted South Korea on Sunday for what it called a Seoul-organised "smear campaign" on the sidelines of the London Olympics.
It accused the South's conservative government of arranging a street photo exhibition in the British capital about the North's human rights record in contravention of the "noble" Olympic ideal.
"The (Seoul) regime carried to London riff-raffs and human scum, a group of wicked men serving the policy of confrontation with the DPRK (North Korea)," said a state body called the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea.
The group staged a photo exhibition that fabricated the reality of life in the North, said the committee, which handles cross-border relations.
"This is another grave politically-motivated provocation against the DPRK and an insult to the Olympic spirit desired by mankind," the committee said in a statement run by the North's official news agency.
Even countries hostile to the North had praised the successes of its Olympic athletes who "demonstrated the dignity and might of their country to the whole world while longing for their leader", it added.
The same committee last month threatened to punish defectors and other South Korean activists critical of Pyongyang.
It accused them of involvement in alleged US and South Korean plots to blow up statues of past leaders and stage other acts of "terrorism" in the North.
"The DPRK really meant it when it declared that it would wipe out those involved in hideous crimes and their backstage wire-pullers," it said on Sunday.
"The South Korean regime will be made to pay dearly for its despicable anti-DPRK smear campaign."
At the start of the 15th full day of Olympics competition on Saturday, North Korea had four golds and two bronze. The South had 13 golds, seven silver and seven bronze.