S. Korea to North: You Can't Just Scrap Armistice

US calls threats 'hyperbolic'
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 12, 2013 6:37 AM CDT
Updated Mar 12, 2013 7:41 AM CDT
S. Korea to North: You Can't Just Scrap Armistice
South Korean soldiers work on their armored vehicles during an exercise near the border village of Panmunjom, in Paju, north of Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, March 12, 2013.   (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

South Korea has some news for North Korea: You can't just go scrapping the armistice on your own. Legally speaking, both sides must declare the armistice invalid, according to Seoul, which called on Pyongyang to dial down the rhetoric. South Korea wants to "absolutely keep the armistice agreement," a Foreign Ministry spokesperson says, adding, "We demand North Korea withdraw remarks threatening stability and peace on the Korean peninsula and in the region." Meanwhile, National Security Adviser Tom Donilon called the North's threats of nuclear strikes "hyperbolic," BusinessWeek reports, as the US imposed fresh sanctions against Pyongyang.

Donilon added that the US "will draw upon the full range of our capabilities to protect against, and to respond to, the threat posed to us and to our allies by North Korea." And one expert predicts to the Los Angeles Times that North Korea will push forward with some sort of military action within weeks. Though Pyongyang has threatened to cancel the armistice before, most recently in 2009, the BBC reports that the rhetoric has escalated this time around. Yesterday, state-run TV showed mass rallies in the country against the US and South Korea, as well as Kim Jong Un telling military troops near a border island to prepare for "merciless firepower strikes" if necessary. (More Tom Donilon stories.)

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