S. Korea Vows Strong Retaliation Against N. Korea Provocations
"We will completely nullify the perfunctory Korea Armistice Agreement. We will pinpoint random targets and fire unlimited strikes"
The North Korean military command has threatened to scrap the 60-year-old truce, and sever the military hotline with the U.S. at the inter-Korean border of Panmunjom.
The agreement, signed by army officials representing the United Nations, North Korea and China in 1953, is the one pact that formally ensures the end of hostilities on the Korean Peninsula.
Although the North has made similar warnings before, this is the first time it has talked about a "complete nullification" of the agreement.
The next day, the communist state kept up the rhetoric with verbal attacks on a local newspaper, saying that with its diversified nuclear arsenal, it can turn not only Seoul but also Washington into a sea of fire.
The strong rhetoric comes after reports of additional UN sanctions on Pyongyang and a series of planned South Korea-U.S. joint military drills.
Observers say Pyongyang may have pulled the truce card specifically to irk its closest ally China, which has reportedly reached a tentative deal with the U.S. to expand current sanctions on North Korea.
The South Korean defense ministry was quick to respond.
Saying that the ROK-U.S. joint drills are no more than annual exercises, the general operations chief of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Kim Yong-hyun, told reporters that if North Korea carries out military acts that threaten national security, Seoul will retaliate against the root of the provocation and even against the commanding forces.
He also made clear that the South Korean military is ready by all means to act immediately.
Han Da-eun, Arirang News.
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