- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 5, 2013

North Korea threatened Tuesday to nullify its armistice agreement with South Korea, effectively restarting the Korean war after 60 years, as the U.N. Security Council meets in New York to consider new sanctions against the rogue state for its illegal nuclear weapons program.

In statement carried by the official Korean Central News Agency, Pyonyang’s military said the threat was in response to international moves to punish its recent nuclear test and to joint South Korea-U.S. military exercises scheduled to start on Monday.

“When the war exercises turn into their main phase after March 11, the Korean War armistice agreement that has existed in its name only, will come to an end,” the agency quoted the North’s military command as saying.

The military also said, if the U.S.-South Korean exercises codenamed Key Resolve go ahead as planned Monday, it will sever the only direct communication between North and South — the telephone link across the border at the village of Panmunjom.

North Korea is known for its harsh rhetoric, reported Seoul-based Yonhap News agency, but Tuesday’s announcement represents a ratcheting up of its intensity. The two divided Korean states are technically at war, with no peace treaty signed at the end of the three-year Korean conflict in 1953.

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