US downplays DPRK threat to nullify armistice agreement
Updated: 2013-03-06 05:01
WASHINGTON - The US government on Tuesday played down the threat by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) to nullify the Korean War Armistice Agreement.
"The DPRK will achieve nothing by threats or provocations, which will only further isolate North Korea and undermine international efforts to ensure peace and stability in Northeast Asia," said White House spokesman Jay Carney at a briefing.
He urged Pyongyang to "heed President Obama's call to choose the path of peace" and comply with its international obligations.
The supreme military command of the DPRK said Tuesday that the country would nullify the Korean War Armistice Agreement on Monday, the same day when a U.S.-South Korean military drill is set to kick off.
Meanwhile, the DPRK has also decided to halt from Monday the work of its delegation at Panmunjom, where DPRK and South Korean delegates usually meet for communication and negotiations.
The upcoming two-week war game, "Key Resolve", will involve 10, 000 South Korean troops and 3,500 U.S. troops in exercises to improve defense readiness.
"These provocations are not new...but, you know, they certainly are not helpful to the North Korean people and they're not helpful to the effort to bring North Korea into compliance with its international obligations," Carney told reporters.
The DPRK conducted its third nuclear test on February 12, which drew condemnation from the international community. The United States and some other countries are pressing for stricter sanctions against Pyongyang at the UN Security Council.
Signed in 1953 to end the Korean War, the armistice agreement is designed to "insure a complete cessation of hostilities and of all acts of armed force in Korea until a final peaceful settlement is achieved."
However, the DPRK has not signed a peace treaty with either South Korea or the United States.