North Korea has criticized recent reports of a crisis in its leadership as a U.S.-organized smear campaign.
A statement from the Foreign Ministry in Pyongyang Monday denies reports of mass defections by North Korean generals to China and called them part of a propaganda campaign designed to create instability.
The Ministry says the campaign is forcing North Korea to reconsider its participation in talks with the United States - an apparent reference to the six-party talks aimed at ending Pyongyang's nuclear weapons ambitions.
The statement carried by the official Korean Central News Agency also denounced reports in Western news media that some of the many portraits of the Communist state's leader, Kim Jong-il, have been removed from display in North Korean cities.
Some information for this report provided by AFP and Reuters.