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North Korea 'will cancel Korean War ceasefire' if military drills continue

Pyongyang says it will tear up the 1953 armistice in response to US attempts to pursue UN sanctions against it.

A US soldier stands on the South Korean side of the border between North and South Korea. South Korean soldiers are seen to the right; North Korean soldiers in the background.
A US soldier stands on the South Korean side of the border between North and South Korea. South Korean soldiers are seen to the right; North Korean soldiers in the background.
Image: Driedprawns via Wikimedia Commons

NORTH KOREA has threatened to resume the Korean War – ending a 60-year truce with South Korea – if its southern neighbour continues with military drills, and the United States looks to pursue UN sanctions against it.

The Korean People’s Army Supreme Command has threatened to withdraw from the armistice deal signed in 1953 – which enforced a ceasefire in the war with South Korea which was never formally ended – if South Korea and the US continue their joint military drills.

The statement comes after reports that the United States and China – which is one of North Korea’s few international allies – had agreed the draft text of sanctions to be pursued against Pyongyang for its recent nuclear missile test.

North Korea now says it will cancel the armistice deal signed in 1953, bringing three years of hostilities to a close, on March 11.

Abandoning that agreement would mean North Korea no longer recognises the 2.5-mile demilitarised zone (‘DMZ’), which acts as a ‘buffer zone’ between the two countries.

Officially speaking, abandoning the armistice would also mean the resumption of war between the countries – a fate that international observers will be desperate to avoid, given that North Korea is now in possession of nuclear weapons.

Pyongyang said the US and others were going beyond merely economic sanctions, and were expanding into straightforward military aggression.

About the author:

Gavan Reilly

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