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N. Korea calls for replacing Korean War armistice with peace treaty

All Headlines 10:37 May 29, 2013

SEOUL, May 29 (Yonhap) -- North Korea on Wednesday called for replacing an armistice signed at the end of the Korean War with a formal peace treaty in order to enhance stability on the Korean Peninsula.

In an article carried by the Rodong Sinmun, an organ of the ruling Workers' Party of Korea (WPK), the communist country claimed efforts to hold onto the cease-fire pact that halted the three-year conflict in July 1953 can only be viewed as an attempt to start another war of invasion.

"There is a pressing need to replace the Armistice Agreement, which is a relic of the war, with a permanent peace regime," the daily monitored in Seoul said.

An armistice does not guarantee "complete peace" and Washington's move to hold onto the cease-fire agreement reflects its desire to stifle the DPRK by force, it said. DPRK stands for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the North's official name.

"If the peace regime was created in the past, the current standoff over denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula would not have become a problem in the first place," said the paper, which effectively reflects the view of the WPK and its leadership.

The country has come under attack from the international community for detonating its third nuclear device earlier this year.

The Rodong Sinmun said that the joint South Korea-U.S. Key Resolve and Foal Eagle exercises that took place in March and April represent a gross violation of the armistice and argued that Pyongyang's decision to unilaterally nullify the cease-fire pact was in direct response to these provocations.

The Supreme Command of the Korean People's Army announced it was scrapping the armistice on March 5.

The media outlet said it is unnatural for a cease-fire pact to be maintained for 60 years and if a ruinous situation were to develop on the Korean Peninsula, the blame for such a development will rest solely on the shoulders of the United States that resisted all moves to sign a peace treaty.

The latest offensive by the North comes a day after the same newspaper said the North will not give up its nuclear deterrent capability in the face of continuing U.S. threats. This stance also follows Chinese leaders telling North Korea's special envoy Choe Ryong-hae that Beijing wants a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula.

In a separate article, the paper said that the attempt by Japan to create its version of the U.S. National Security Council (NSC) can only be viewed as the country's attempt to again invade the Korean Peninsula.

"The move to create its own NSC can only be viewed as a plot to push the current situation surrounding the region into a war setting," it said.

yonngong@yna.co.kr
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