27 May 2009
North Korea has said that it is abandoning the truce that ended the Korean War and that there is a growing risk of military conflict. The warning comes two days after it conducted an underground nuclear test.
John Sudworth in Seoul
Click to hear the report:
The statement from North Korea's military warns that it no longer considers itself bound by the terms of the 1953 ceasefire. The immediate cause, it says, is South Korea's decision earlier this week, to join a US-led initiative to track and search ships suspected of carrying weapons of mass destruction.
But the angry rhetoric fits the increasingly hard line being taken by Pyongyang. Two days ago, it conducted a powerful underground nuclear test, and last month, it launched a long-range rocket over Japanese airspace, both acts in defiance of widespread international condemnation.
Meanwhile, South Korean news reports say that steam has been seen coming from a plant at the North's main nuclear facility, a sign that it has made good on its threat to restart efforts to make weapons-grade plutonium.
John Sudworth, BBC News, Seoul
Click to hear the vocabulary:
- considers itself bound by the terms of
- recognises the validity of, acts in accordance with
- something that is said or written with the aim of being persuasive and effective
- increasingly hard line
- becoming more and more inflexible and uncompromising
- in defiance of
- showing refusal to listen to/take into account
- saying that something (here, North Korea's behaviour) is bad
- a place, especially including buildings, where a particular activity happens
- to track
- to find and/or follow
- made good on
- acted on/realised/carried out (something that has been intended or promised)
- weapons-grade plutonium
- plutonium that is rich enough to be used in nuclear weapons