North Korea cancels all military, political agreements with South Korea

Friday, January 30, 2009

According to media reports in North Korea, the government has severed all political and military ties with its neighbor, South Korea. The North also canceled cooperation, non-aggression and reconciliation agreements that were agreed upon in the early 1990's. N. Korea claims that the South is acting with hostile intent towards their government.

The report comes as the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea (CPRK) was quoted as saying that the South reduced North Korea to dead documents, "[pushing the two] to the brink of a war."

"All the agreed points concerning the issue of putting an end to the political and military confrontation between the North and the South will be nullified," said the CPRK in a statement which also said that there is no hope of improving relations. "They have reached the extreme point where the clash of fire against fire, steel against steel, has become inevitable."

A spokesman for the Unification Ministry of South Korea, Kim Ho-Nyoun, says the South Korean government deeply regrets the decisions made by the North.

"Our government expresses deep regret. We urge North Korea to accept our call for dialogue as soon as possible," said Ho-Nyoun. S. Korean troops were put on alert earlier last week after N. Korea issued verbal threats against the south saying they would turn them "into a sea of fire."

Both nations are still considered to be at war with each other despite a truce in 1953 after a three year armed conflict starting in 1950. Since then, the border between the two nations, called a demilitarized zone, has been heavily fortified with thousands of troops on both sides. These troops, stationed at various points, stand ready to go into battle at any time. No peace treaty was ever signed between the two nations.

N. Korea recently agreed to a total dismantlement of their nuclear research and development program. In 2007 N. Korea along with China, Japan, Russia and S. Korea, signed a pact that would end the program to receive aid in return. In August of 2008 the dismantling stalled, but N. Korea's leader Kim Jong-il says he is devoted to making the peninsula nuclear-free. The last talks between the five nations were in December 2008, which yielded no agreements.