North Korea took a swipe at South Korean president Park Geun-Hye for her “provocative” remarks during a trip to China.

Park, speaking after a high-profile summit in Beijing, called for the North’s denuclearization and said Pyongyang’s policy of pushing forward economic development together with its nuclear program was an “unattainable goal”.

“We have agreed that under any circumstances, North Korea’s nuclear weapons are unacceptable,” Park said.

The North’s reunification committee criticized Park for “letting loose a whole string of provocative remarks” and “hurting the dignity” of the regime.

Park’s remarks were “a blatant challenge to the dignity, social system and political line of the DPRK and an unpardonable grave provocation against it,” the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea said in a statement through state media.

North Korea’s atomic weapons are “shields for justice and peace and treasure for the nation” and could never be a bargaining chip,” it added.

Seoul voiced regret over the North’s statement and urged Pyongyang to exercise restraint, reports AFP.

Proposed talks between South and North Korea last month have hit a wall, dashing hopes for a rapprochement on the Korean peninsula after weeks of high tensions.