North Korea nullifies 1953 Korea war armistice
Seoul: A state-run newspaper in North Korea on Tuesday said that the communist country had carried out a threat to cancel the 1953 armistice that ended the Korean War, following days of increased tensions over its latest nuclear test.
A United Nations spokesman said later in the day, however, that North Korea cannot unilaterally dissolve the armistice.
North Korea also followed through on another promise: It shut down a Red Cross hotline that the North and South Korea used for general communication and to discuss aid shipments and separated families` reunions.
Enraged over the South`s current joint military drills with the US and last week`s UN sanctions imposed on Pyongyang for its February 12 nuclear test, North Korea has piled threat on top of threat, including a vow to launch a nuclear strike on the US.
Seoul has responded with tough talk of its own and has placed its troops on high alert. Tensions on the divided peninsula have reached their highest level since North Korea rained artillery shells on a South Korean island in 2010.
The North Korean government made no formal announcement on its repeated threats to scrap the 60-year-old armistice, but the country`s main newspaper, Rodong Sinmun, reported that the armistice was nullified today as Pyongyang had said it would.
The North has threatened to nullify the armistice several times before, and in 1996 it sent hundreds of armed troops into a border village. The troops later withdrew.
Despite the North Korean report, UN spokesman Martin Nesirky said the armistice is still valid and still in force because the armistice agreement had been adopted by the UN General Assembly and neither North Korea nor South Korea could dissolve it unilaterally.
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