North Korea ends peace pacts with South


North Korean State TV has aired footage of a visit by Kim Jong-un to troops, as the BBC's Lucy Williamson reports

North Korea says it is scrapping all non-aggression pacts with South Korea, closing its hotline with Seoul and shutting their shared border point.

The announcement follows a fresh round of UN sanctions punishing Pyongyang for its nuclear test last month.

Earlier, Pyongyang said it had a right to carry out a pre-emptive nuclear strike and was pulling out of the armistice that ended the Korean War.

The US said "extreme rhetoric" was not unusual for Pyongyang.

China, which is the North's only major ally, called for both North and South to show restraint and to continue talking.

Beijing rarely criticises its ally, but has criticised the North's nuclear tests and has given support to the UN's sanctions.

South Korea's President Park Geun-hye said the current security situation was "very grave" but that she would "deal strongly" with provocation from the North.

She also said she was ready to talk to Pyongyang if it "comes out on the path toward change".

'Puppet traitors'

The North Korean announcement, carried on the KCNA state news agency, said the North was cancelling all non-aggression pacts with the South and closing the main Panmunjom border crossing inside the Demilitarized Zone.

The threatened pre-emptive nuclear strike seems more bluff than reality, since the North's leaders know it would be suicidal, and an attack on the US seems impracticable given the still technically rudimentary quality of the North's ballistic missile programme and the unproven state of its nuclear miniaturisation technology needed to place a nuclear warhead atop a missile.

A more troubling possibility is that the North might choose - out of irritation with the UN - to precipitate a border clash with South Korea, either on land or sea, as it did before in 2010.

The two Koreas have reached a range of agreements over the years, including a 1991 pact on resolving disputes and avoiding military clashes, but the North Korean statement did not expand on what was being cancelled.

It also said it was notifying the South that it was "immediately" cutting off the North-South hotline, saying there was "nothing to talk to the puppet group of traitors about".

The hotline, installed in 1971, is intended as a means of direct communication at a time of high tension, but is also used to co-ordinate the passage of people and goods through the heavily-fortified Demilitarized Zone.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un also visited front-line military units that were involved in the shelling of a South Korean island in 2010, KCNA reports.

The reports said he had urged soldiers to keep themselves ready to "annihilate the enemy" at any time.

The BBC's Lucy Williamson in Seoul says it appears the North is trying to build a sense of crisis domestically, with a large rally staged in Pyongyang on Friday and reports of camouflage netting on public transport.

North Korea has breached agreements before and withdrawing from them does not necessarily mean war, our correspondent says, but it does signal a more unpredictable and unstable situation.

Shutting down the hotline will leave both more exposed to misunderstandings, she adds.

'Punishment mode'

Seoul's defence ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok said that if the North were to carry out a nuclear attack on South Korea it would become "extinct from the Earth by the will of mankind".

Resolution 2094

  • Strongly condemns North Korea's ongoing nuclear activities, including its uranium enrichment programme
  • Imposes new sanctions to block financial transactions and bulk cash transfers in support of illicit activity
  • Strengthens states' authority to inspect suspicious cargo
  • Requires states to deny port access to any North Korean vessel that refuses to be inspected
  • Calls on states to deny permission to any aircraft to take off, land in or overfly their territory if the aircraft is suspected of transporting prohibited items
  • Enables stronger enforcement of existing sanctions by UN member states
  • Sanctions new individuals and entities

He also warned that in response to any provocation from the North, Seoul would "immediately" turn the US-South Korean military drills currently being conducted "into a punishment mode to respond to it as planned".

The US, the main focus of North Korean ire, said it was capable of protecting itself and its allies from any attacks.

"One has to take what any government says seriously," state department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said of the nuclear threat.

"It is for that reason that I repeat here that we are fully capable of defending the United States. But I would also say that this kind of extreme rhetoric has not been unusual for this regime, unfortunately."

The North Korean declaration came after the UN Security Council in New York unanimously backed Resolution 2094, imposing the fourth set of sanctions.

The resolution targets North Korean diplomats, cash transfers and access to luxury goods.

It imposes asset freezes and travel bans on three individuals and two firms linked to North Korea's military.

South Korea's ambassador to the UN, Kim Sook, said it was time for North Korea to "wake up from its delusion" of becoming a nuclear state.

"It can either take the right path toward a bright future and prosperity, or it can take a bad road toward further and deeper isolation and eventual self-destruction," he said.

US ambassador to the UN Susan Rice said the sanctions would "further constrain" North Korea's ability to develop its nuclear programme.

She warned that the UN would "take further significant actions" if Pyongyang were to carry out another nuclear test.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 535.

    North Korea's Kim Song Un should be more concerned about increasing the North Koreans' standard of life rather than thinking about attacking the South and those who aren't in tune with his nuclear ambitions.

  • rate this

    Comment number 534.

    sean33z... and you don't think that if NK nuked ANYONE at all, from SK to the USA, that the US government wouldn't find the funding to retaliate or subdue them? Really? Wars don't tend to start with budgeting discussions!

  • rate this

    Comment number 533.

    Commonsense 10a...

    And, from a historical persepective, that's EXACTLY what we should expect them to do... make some irrational and outright stupid threats and then declare peace after the world agrees to concessions NK wanted in the first place!

    Been there, done that, got fooled before. Wait and see if it plays out the same way this time, too...

  • rate this

    Comment number 532.

    The North Korean government like the Iran's is playing with fire.It really doesn't understand the grave jeopardy it's putting itself in.Upon command of the President of the United States, either or both nations could be entirely oblitterated from the face of the earth within 15 minutes.That is a plain and simple fact of life in the nuclear age with the USA as the major military power on earth.

  • rate this

    Comment number 531.

    The US entered the war because of Japan's aggression at "Pearl Harbour" on the 7th of December 1941, one day after the attack, US entered war & that pleased Winston Churchill who wanted them in it to seal Hitler's fate. So, don't be blaming US alone for the eventual outcome that happened with atom bomb drop.
    As for NRK, I think they're close to having missile/warhead small enough to threaten US.

  • rate this

    Comment number 530.

    The Pentagon has no funding to buy even one combat jet from Lockheed. How could they afford a war in Korea? Division of Korea caused severe poverty in North Korea, South Korea, and Japan over the last several decades. The United Nations should ask the Americans to leave that country in the interest of economic development.

  • rate this

    Comment number 529.

    11 Minutes ago
    Just like to point out that the one country to have ever used nuclear weapons is the good old USA.

    Perhaps, but the alternative to dropping the bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki would have been an invasion that was estimated to kill as many as 11 million people - I think most sensible people would consider using the bomb to be the lesser evil

  • rate this

    Comment number 528.

    Just like to point out that the one country to have ever used nuclear weapons is the good old USA. Bit like Chavez really, he's ooky and he's spooky, he really isn't groovy they Chavez family. Funny they put all those sitcoms about monsters out in the middle of the USA McCarthy witchhunts. You'd really think they were trying to tell us something the Munsters and the Adams.

  • rate this

    Comment number 527.

    Irene Gill your one of those uber liberals aren’t you, full of stupid ideas but no logic or common sense, if you haven’t forgotten North Korea sank a South Korean naval vessel killing over 40 people, How u can actually think everyone having nukes will make things better is your odd logic we should all have a semi automatic pistol for our own safety seeming the police have them.

  • rate this

    Comment number 526.

    519 - the problem is that China have been supplying missiles to NK in violation of the last 3 rounds of UN sanctions anyway.
    however, china does appear to be shifting away from its pact with NK for the first time since 1945 following WW2. unless that is lip service for the rest of the world.
    NK has a large army but i suspect they are underfed with ancient weaponry. No match for modern warfare

  • rate this

    Comment number 525.

    Theyre ooky and they'r dooky, theyre all together spooky the North Korean Family.......never did go with all the bullshxt governments and their cronys in the media peddle. Want a nice job in the Con party? Ah but you have to be nice to the Con party and say what they want you to say.

  • rate this

    Comment number 524.

    War is where the young and stupid are tricked by the old and bitter into killing each other

  • rate this

    Comment number 523.

    If America didn't engage in wargames with South Korea every year, North Korea might not feel quite so hostile. Why should USA have 1000s of nuclear weapons, and North Korea none? Both are behaving extremely badly. - Our "deterrent" threatens them: they want to "deter" us back.

  • rate this

    Comment number 522.

    The stupidity & madness of the North Korean government is astounding.
    Why don't they let Nuclear Inspectors in to do full inspections & stop nuke tests & ask the U.N. for some or all sanctions to be lifted. They will probably get many sanctions removed if they allow in Inspectors properly. They could open their country up like normal countries & then they will prosper & have peace.

  • rate this

    Comment number 521.

    I have to laugh every time I see the fake emotional responses of the North Korean people when faced with anything concerning their leader.

    I can just picture the thought in their heads ... "Get this right or die"

  • rate this

    Comment number 520.

    Please North Korea, dont nuke S/korea as I want to continue with samsung products, not be forced to buy apple devices.

    Seriously though, in a week or two itll be forgotton news. Happened before. I not really "that" worried. The n korea nukes cant reach uk btw
    However, bear in mind the wind/weather conditions that could move radiation everywhere.

  • rate this

    Comment number 519.

    507. Bastiat
    Well if after all that time it hasnt worked we need to monitor them, make sure they are not preparing for war and if we think they are Nuke them. Pretty simple really. Probably pretty effective too. China will stand back if they are allowed to share intelligence of NK intentions. It would seem China are becoming more and more anti NK actions anyway.

  • rate this

    Comment number 518.

    If a sick, stupid, sadistic tyrant wants to start famine, imprison opponents, restrict people's liberty, and end the peace pact with South Korea, then fine. Just don't expect to be in power for ever.

  • rate this

    Comment number 517.

    Possibly everyone of us is carrying an Instrument that is made in South Korea which is duly developed by the Country.Having carrying a similar value and character;North Korea too could have supported the Growth of the Globe to enjoy itself rather than threatening others.These Leaders have no respect towards meeting the needs of the Common Public,other than meeting their thirst for Power.

  • rate this

    Comment number 516.

    "Why am I watching 'Protect and Survive' on YouTube?"

    I don't know. Have you seen "Threads"?


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