Published: Thursday, March 14, 2013

North Korea confirms end of war armistice

North Korea yesterday confirmed that it had shredded the 60-year-old armistice ending the Korean War, and warned that the next step was an act of “merciless” military retaliation against its enemies.
A lengthy statement by the North’s armed forces ministry added to the tide of dire threats flowing from Pyongyang in recent days that have raised military tensions on the Korean peninsula to their highest level for years.
The statement carried by the official Korean Central News Agency argued that the real “warmongering” was coming from the United States and its “puppets” in Seoul.
“They would be well advised to keep in mind that the armistice agreement is no longer valid and (North Korea) is not restrained by the North-South declaration on non-aggression,” a ministry spokesman said.
The North announced last week that it would nullify the 1953 armistice and peace pacts signed with Seoul in protest over joint South Korea-US military manoeuvres that began on Monday.
Because the Korean War was concluded with an armistice rather than a peace treaty, the two Koreas have always remained technically at war.
Voiding the ceasefire theoretically opens the way to a resumption of hostilities, although observers note this is far from the first time that North Korea has announced the demise of the armistice.