AFP. 31 January 2002. North Korea slams "aggressive" Bush speech.

SEOUL -- North Korea on Thursday hit back at US President George W.
Bush's State of the Union speech accusing the communist state of being
part of an "axis of evil."

Pyongyang accused Washington of adopting a "hostile and aggressive"
stance taking the two sides toward renewed conflict.

China, a traditional ally of North Korea, also condemned Bush's harsh
words, saying they would only disrupt world peace and stability.

South Korea gave no admitted public reaction but officials in Seoul said
they were worried by Bush's speech on Tuesday.

The North's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said: "The
remarks were merely US shenanigans aimed at continuing with its policy
of aggression against us.

"The remarks were also aimed at justifying the stationing of US troops
in the South and keeping up with its hostile and aggressive policy," it

Bush said in his speech that North Korea, Iraq and Iran and their
"terrorist allies constitute an axis of evil" and hinted they could
become targets in the war on terrorism.

In Beijing, foreign ministry spokesman Kong Quan hit back: "The Chinese
side is not in favor of using such terms in international relations. We
always advocate ... the principle of equality of all countries ...,
otherwise it can only ... harm the maintenance of world peace and

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Barry Stoller

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