North Korea has called US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi the worst destroyer of international peace and stability, accusing her of inciting anti-North Korea sentiment and enraging China during her Asian tour.
Ms Pelosi travelled to South Korea after visiting Taiwan, which had prompted China to launch military exercises including missile strike training in waters near the self-governed island.
China views Taiwan as a part of its own territory, which is to be annexed by force if necessary.
Ms Pelosi visited a border area with North Korea and discussed North Korea's nuclear program with South Korean National Assembly Speaker Kim Jin-Pyo.
According to Mr Kim, the two agreed to support their respective governments' push for denuclearisation and peace on the Korean Peninsula based on diplomacy and strong, extended deterrence against North Korea.
The director-general of the North Korean Foreign Ministry's press and information affairs department slammed Ms Pelosi over her visit to the border and her discussion of anti-North Korean deterrence.
Pelosi, who had come under a volley of criticism from China for destroying regional peace and stability by visiting Taiwan, has stirred up the atmosphere of confrontation with North Korea during her stay in South Korea, the director-general said in a statement carried by state media.
Ms Pelosi's behavior in South Korea had clearly shown hostility towards the North by the administration of US President Joe Biden, calling her the worst destroyer of international peace and stability.
The US will have to pay dearly for all the sources of trouble spawned by her wherever she went. Nancy Pelosi's visit to the Joint Security Area at the Korean border made her the highest-profile American to go there since President Donald Trump visited there in 2019 for a meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
The area is jointly controlled by the American-led United Nations Command and North Korea, located inside the world's most heavily fortified border.
The US presidents and other top officials have previously travelled to the area to reaffirm their commitment to South Korea in times of tension with North Korea.
During her visit, Ms Pelosi did not make any strong public statements against North Korea.
She uploaded several photos from the JSA on Twitter and wrote: We conveyed the gratitude of the Congress and the country for the patriotic service of our service members who stand as sentinels of democracy on the Korean Peninsula. After North Korea ran a series of missile tests earlier this year, tensions on the Korean Peninsula remain high. US and South Korea officials said North Korea was ready to carry out its first nuclear weapons test in five years.
North Korea has said it will not return to denuclearisation talks and will instead focus on expanding its nuclear program unless the United States drops its hostilities, in an apparent reference to US-led international sanctions on the North and its regular military drills with South Korea.
After Ms Pelosi visited Taiwan and affirmed Washington's commitment to defending democracy on the self-governing island, North Korea issued a statement on Wednesday berating the US and supporting China, its main ally and biggest aid benefactor.