North Korea warns US envoy of 'bigger mishap' than a knife attack

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(Reuters) - A North Korean propaganda unit said the U.S. ambassador to South Korea could face a "bigger mishap" than the knife attack to his face last month if he does not stop insulting North Korea with "laughable" accusations.

U.S. envoy Mark Lippert said in a speech on Wednesday that if North Korea improves its human rights record and takes steps to end its nuclear programme, it will be rewarded with prosperity and better ties with the outside world, including the United States.

The North's Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea said Lippert's remarks were proof that Washington was intent on hostility.

"Lippert needs to drop the bad habit of rashly engaging in scheming chatter distorting the truth and instigating war by taking issue with us," the committee said in a commentary published on Thursday on the Uriminzokkiri propaganda web site.

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North Korea warns US envoy of 'bigger mishap' than a knife attack
Injured U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Mark Lippert, center, gets into a car to leave for a hospital in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, March 5, 2015. Lippert was attacked by a man wielding a razor and screaming that the rival Koreas should be unified, South Korean police and media said Thursday. His injuries weren't immediately clear and he was taken to a hospital for treatment. (AP Photo/Yonhap, Kim Ju-Sung)
South Korean men watch a TV news program reporting U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Mark Lippert injured in a knife attack at Seoul railway station in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, March 5, 2015. Lippert was slashed on the face and wrist by a man wielding a weapon with a 10-inch blade and screaming that the rival Koreas should be unified, South Korean police said. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA - MARCH 05: (SOUTH KOREA OUT) In this handout image provided by Munhwa Ilbo newspaper, U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Mark Lippert is seen right after getting attacked on March 5, 2015 in Seoul, South Korea. Ambassador Lippert was attacked with a razor blade by a man at a venue where he was going to give a lecture. The attacker who reportedly identified himself as a representative for a watchdog organization of the disputed island Dokdo/Takeshima, was arrested immediately on site. (Photo by Chung Ha-Jong/Munhwa Ilbo via Getty Images)
SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA - MARCH 05: (SOUTH KOREA OUT) In this handout image provided by The Asia Economy Daily newspaper, U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Mark Lippert is seen after getting attacked on March 5, 2015 in Seoul, South Korea. Ambassador Lippert was attacked with a razor blade by a man at a venue where he was going to give a lecture. The attacker who reportedly identified himself as a representative for a watchdog organization of the disputed island Dokdo/Takeshima, was arrested immediately on site. (Photo by Handout/The Asia Economy Daily via Getty Images)
SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA - MARCH 05: (SOUTH KOREA OUT) In this handout image provided by The Asia Economy Daily newspaper, U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Mark Lippert is seen after getting attacked on March 5, 2015 in Seoul, South Korea. Ambassador Lippert was attacked with a razor blade by a man at a venue where he was going to give a lecture. The attacker who reportedly identified himself as a representative for a watchdog organization of the disputed island Dokdo/Takeshima, was arrested immediately on site. (Photo by Handout/The Asia Economy Daily via Getty Images)
SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA - MARCH 05: (SOUTH KOREA OUT) In this handout image provided by The Asia Economy Daily newspaper, U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Mark Lippert is seen after getting attacked on March 5, 2015 in Seoul, South Korea. Ambassador Lippert was attacked with a razor blade by a man at a venue where he was going to give a lecture. The attacker who reportedly identified himself as a representative for a watchdog organization of the disputed island Dokdo/Takeshima, was arrested immediately on site. (Photo by Handout/The Asia Economy Daily via Getty Images)
SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA - MARCH 05: (SOUTH KOREA OUT) In this handout image provided by The Asia Economy Daily newspaper, the man identified as Kim Ki-jong is being arrested at the site where U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Mark Lippert was attacked on March 5, 2015 in Seoul, South Korea. Ambassador Lippert was attacked with a razor blade by a man at a venue where he was going to give a lecture. The attacker reportedly identified himself as a representative for a watchdog organization of the disputed island Dokdo/Takeshima. (Photo by Handout/The Asia Economy Daily via Getty Images)
SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA - MARCH 05: (SOUTH KOREA OUT) In this handout image provided by The Asia Economy Daily newspaper, U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Mark Lippert is seen after getting attacked on March 5, 2015 in Seoul, South Korea. Ambassador Lippert was attacked with a razor blade by a man at a venue where he was going to give a lecture. The attacker who reportedly identified himself as a representative for a watchdog organization of the disputed island Dokdo/Takeshima, was arrested immediately on site. (Photo by Handout/The Asia Economy Daily via Getty Images)
SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA - MARCH 05: (SOUTH KOREA OUT) In this handout image provided by The Asia Economy Daily newspaper, the man identified as Kim Ki-jong is being arrested at the site where U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Mark Lippert was attacked on March 5, 2015 in Seoul, South Korea. Ambassador Lippert was attacked with a razor blade by a man at a venue where he was going to give a lecture. The attacker reportedly identified himself as a representative for a watchdog organization of the disputed island Dokdo/Takeshima. (Photo by Handout/The Asia Economy Daily via Getty Images)
SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA - MARCH 05: (CHINA OUT, SOUTH KOREA OUT) U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Mark Lippert (C) is seen injured on March 5, 2015 in Seoul, South Korea. Ambassador Lippert was attacked with a razor blade by a man at a venue where he was going to give a lecture. The attacker who reportedly identified himself as a representative for a watchdog organization of the disputed island Dokdo/Takeshima, was arrested immediately on site. (Photo by The Asahi Shimbun via Getty Images)
SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA - MARCH 05: (CHINA OUT, SOUTH KOREA OUT) U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Mark Lippert (C) is seen injured on March 5, 2015 in Seoul, South Korea. Ambassador Lippert was attacked with a razor blade by a man at a venue where he was going to give a lecture. The attacker who reportedly identified himself as a representative for a watchdog organization of the disputed island Dokdo/Takeshima, was arrested immediately on site. (Photo by The Asahi Shimbun via Getty Images)
U.S. Ambassador Mark Lippert was reportedly attacked by a man shouting anti-war slogans while he visited South Korea's capital city.
South Korean Vietnam War veterans shout slogans during a rally denouncing the attack on U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Mark Lippert near the U.S. embassy in Seoul, South Korea, Friday, March 6, 2015. A knife attack on Thursday that injured Lippert is the latest act of political violence in a deeply divided country where some protesters portray their causes as matters of life and death. Thursday's attack, which prompted rival North Korea to gloat about "knife slashes of justice," left deep gashes and damaged tendons and nerves. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
A passenger reads the newspaper reporting a Thursday's knife attack on U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Mark Lippert, on a subway train in Seoul, South Korea Friday, March 6, 2015. Lippert struggled with pain as he recovered Friday from the attack, while police searched the offices of the anti-U.S. activist who they say slashed the envoy while screaming demands for Korean reunification. The headline reads "U.S. ambassador was attacked by a radical." (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
South Korean conservative activists with a portrait of U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Mark Lippert, left, and Kim Ki-jong, the suspect of slashing Lippert, stage a rally demanding quick recovery of Lippert near the U.S. embassy in Seoul, South Korea, Friday, March 6, 2015. A knife attack on Thursday that injured Lippert is the latest act of political violence in a deeply divided country where some protesters portray their causes as matters of life and death. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
A South Korean conservative activist burns a mock North Korean flag, portraits of North Korean leader Kim Jon Un and Kim Ki-jong, the suspect of slashing U.S. Ambassador Mark Lippert, during a rally demanding quick recovery of Lippert near the U.S. embassy in Seoul, South Korea, Friday, March 6, 2015. Thursday's attack, which prompted rival North Korea to gloat about "knife slashes of justice," left deep gashes and damaged tendons and nerves. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
South Korean police officers spray extinguishers after protesters set fire to a mock North Korean flag, portraits of North Korean leader Kim Jon Un and Kim Ki-jong, the suspect of slashing U.S. Ambassador Mark Lippert, during a rally demanding quick recovery of Lippert near the U.S. embassy in Seoul, South Korea, Friday, March 6, 2015. A knife attack Thursday that injured Lippert is the latest act of political violence in a deeply divided country where some protesters portray their causes as matters of life and death. The attack, which prompted rival North Korea to gloat about "knife slashes of justice," left deep gashes and damaged tendons and nerves. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
Anti-North Korea activists burn placards featuring North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, in support of US Ambassador to Seoul Mark Lippert, during a rally in Seoul on March 6, 2015. South Korea has reacted with shock and a little shame to a violent knife attack on Lippert that jarred harshly with the image of a largely safe, well-ordered society. AFP PHOTO / Ed Jones (Photo credit should read ED JONES/AFP/Getty Images)
A monk prays before anti-North Korea activists holding placards in support of US Ambassador to Seoul Mark Lippert, during a rally in Seoul on March 6, 2015. South Korea has reacted with shock and a little shame to a violent knife attack on Lippert that jarred harshly with the image of a largely safe, well-ordered society. AFP PHOTO / Ed Jones (Photo credit should read ED JONES/AFP/Getty Images)
South Korean maverick political activist Kim Ki-Jong (C), who faces possible attempted murder charges after slashing US Ambassador Mark Lippert, as he leaves a police station for a court in Seoul on March 6, 2015. South Korean police said they were investigating possible links the man behind the shocking knife attack on the US ambassador may have had with North Korea, as Seoul voiced disgust at Pyongyang's reaction to the incident. AFP PHOTO / JUNG YEON-JE (Photo credit should read JUNG YEON-JE/AFP/Getty Images)
A South Korean woman holds a US flag as she participates in a pro-US rally outside the US embassy in Seoul on March 6, 2015. South Korea has reacted with shock and a little shame to a violent knife attack on US ambassador Mark Lippert that jarred harshly with the image of a largely safe, well-ordered society. AFP PHOTO / Ed Jones (Photo credit should read ED JONES/AFP/Getty Images)
US Ambassador Mark Lippert gunmen attacked in the face
http://t.co/EuzC9YKuho
Picture released of injured U.S. ambassador Lippert on YTN http://t.co/ztxS3QzwmH
New U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Mark Lippert, left, shakes hands with South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se during a meeting at the Foreign Ministry in Seoul, South Korea, Friday, Oct. 31, 2014. Lippert was appointed to the post in May and was confirmed by the Senate last month. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
New U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Mark Lippert, right, is greeted by South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se during a meeting at the Foreign Ministry in Seoul, South Korea, Friday, Oct. 31, 2014. Lippert was appointed to the post in May and was confirmed by the Senate last month. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (4th L) and US ambassador to Japan John Roos (3rd L) exchange smiles with Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihiko Suga (3rd R), Japan's Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida (2nd R), Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera (R), US Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asia and Pacific Secretary Affairs Mark Lippert (2nd R) and Major General Andrew O'Donnell, the US Forces Japan deputy commander, at their joint announcement on a US-Japan agreement on the return of some of the US bases in Okinawa, at Abe's official residence in Tokyo April 5, 2013. Japan and the United States agreed on a plan that will see some land occupied by the US military returned to the islands in a bid to break the deadlock in a long-stalled deal. AFP PHOTO / POOL / Issei KATO (Photo credit should read ISSEI KATO/AFP/Getty Images)
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"Otherwise, next time, he could face a bigger mishap than getting cut in the cheek by a South Korean citizen," it said.

The North frequently rails at the United States, the South's biggest ally, accusing it of preparing for imminent invasion.

The U.S. Embassy in Seoul did not have any immediate comment.

Lippert was slashed in the face with a fruit knife by a South Korean man with a history of erratic behaviour at a breakfast forum in central Seoul that left a gash that required 80 stitches. He also suffered injuries to his arm.

"It is unbearable insult and mockery against us and a laughable and brazen charge that cannot be overlooked," the North's agency said.

South Korean police charged Lippert's attacker with attempted murder. He was not charged with any North Korea-related crime after being questioned over his multiple visits.

North and South Korea are technically still at war after their 1950-53 conflict ended in a truce, not a peace treaty.

North Korea previously called the attack "deserved punishment" but denied any role in it.

(Reporting by Jack Kim and James Pearson; Editing by Tony Munroe)





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