North Korea cancels 1953 armistice; South Korea weighs options
SEOUL — A state-run newspaper in North Korea said on Monday the communist country had carried out a threat to cancel the 1953 armistice that ended the Korean War, after days of increased tensions over its latest nuclear test.
A U.N. spokesman said later in the day, however, that North Korea cannot unilaterally dissolve the armistice.
North Korea 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 joint military drills with the United States and U.N. sanctions imposed last week on Pyongyang for its Feb. 12 nuclear test, North Korea has piled threat on top of threat, including a vow to launch a nuclear strike on the United States.
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 provocations are pushing more South Koreans to raise the once unthinkable: developing their own nuclear deterrent, analysts told USA Today.
South Korean lawmaker Chung Mong Joon of the governing Saenuri, or New Frontier Party, indicated that the South may have to look into a nuclear deterrent given that North Korea is acting like “a gangster.”
The South Korean newspaper Joong Ang Ilbo suggested in an editorial that the U.S. “nuclear umbrella” may not be enough. Although the South is a signatory to the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons treaty, which means the country cannot legally develop nuclear weapons, the newspaper said the North's threats mean new defenses must be considered.
“Nuclear weapons can be stopped only with nuclear weapons, as in the mutual assured destruction that prevented a nuclear conflict during the Cold War,” it said.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
- Russia acts to stanch ruble’s plummet
- Russia acts to stanch plummet of ruble’s value
- Taliban siege at Pakistani school ends with 141 dead
- Hope for better days in Pakistan shattered in school attack
- Bad day for Israel: U.N. criticizes West Bank settlements; Hamas off EU terror list
- Parisians oppose wood-burning ban
- Air traffic control center computer failure cancels flights in London
- Analysis: Antibiotic-resistant superbugs could kill more people than cancer
- Americans, Belgians gather in Ardennes to mark 70th anniversary of Battle of the Bulge
- At U.N. climate talks, a crack in rich-poor barrier
- Faced with few options, Japan gives Abe more time to fix economy