x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Pyongyang threatens to cancel Korean War ceasefire

The threat comes amid came amid reports that Washington and Beijing approved a draft of punishing sanctions for a UN Security Council resolution in response to North Korea's February 12 nuclear test.

A South Korean protester at a rally demanding the Korean Peninsula's peaceful unification and denouncing North Korea's nuclear test near the US Embassy in Seoul on Monday. Lee Jin-man / AP Photo
A South Korean protester at a rally demanding the Korean Peninsula's peaceful unification and denouncing North Korea's nuclear test near the US Embassy in Seoul on Monday. Lee Jin-man / AP Photo

SEOUL // North Korea today vowed to cancel the 1953 cease-fire that ended the Korean War, citing a US-led push for punishing international sanctions over its recent nuclear test.

North Korea's Korean People's Army Supreme Command warned of stronger additional countermeasures in a statement that came amid reports that Washington and North Korean ally Beijing have approved a draft of punishing sanctions for a United Nations Security Council resolution responding to North Korea's February 12 nuclear test. The draft is expected to be circulated at the UN this week.

The United States and others worry that North Korea's third nuclear test pushes it a step closer towards its goal of having nuclear-armed missiles that can reach America, and condemn its rocket launches and nuclear tests as a dangerous threat to regional security.

North Korea says its nuclear programme is a response to US hostility that dates back to the 1950-53 Korean War, which ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty, leaving the Korean Peninsula still technically in a state of war.

North Korea warned it will cancel the Korean War cease-fire agreement on March 11, citing US-South Korean military drills that began March 1.

North Korea said Washington and others are going beyond mere economic sanctions and expanding into blunt aggression and military acts. North Korea also warned that it will block a communications line between it and the United States at the border village separating the two Koreas.