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(2nd LD) N.K. urges U.S. to end hostile policy on armistice anniversary

All Headlines 14:34 July 27, 2017

(ATTN: ADDS more info in para 5)

SEOUL, July 27 (Yonhap) -- North Korea on Thursday reiterated its call for the United States to end its hostile policy toward Pyongyang as the two Koreas marked the 64th anniversary of the armistice that ended the conflict in the 1950-53 Korean War.

The Rodong Sinmun, the North's main newspaper, made the comment on the anniversary to celebrate what it claims is its victory against the U.S. during the war which ended in a truce, not a peace treaty.

It said that Washington does not understand that the North's nuclear and missile programs have changed its strategic status as shown by the latest success of an intercontinental ballistic missile test.

"There is only one way out for the U.S. That is to withdraw the anachronistic hostile policy toward North Korea and kneel and apologize to its army and people," the paper said in a commentary.

In a separate commentary, it called on North Koreans to brace for more severe ordeals as Washington's atrocity will get worse in the name of international sanctions with its end coming closer.

(2nd LD) N.K. urges U.S. to end hostile policy on armistice anniversary - 2

South and North Korea are marking the anniversary amid speculation that the North may be preparing to launch another ballistic missile. Pyongyang has often timed its provocations with key political events.

South Korean defense officials said there is no clear sign yet of the North's possible missile launch. But authorities believe that the North can make provocative acts wherever and whenever it wants.

The North has claimed that it is developing nuclear weapons as a deterrent to what it called Washington's hostile policy toward it.

The repressive regime's possible provocation could deal a blow to President Moon Jae-in's push for engagement with the North at a time when the U.S. is trying to tighten sanctions on Pyongyang.

Seoul has offered to hold inter-military talks on Thursday to ease border tensions and Red Cross talks on Aug. 1 to resume reunions of families torn apart by the war. But the North has kept mum toward the South's overture.

South Korea's unification ministry renewed its call for the North to reply to Seoul's dialogue offer, adding that there is no deadline for its rapprochement proposal.

"Our stance toward the pursuit of dialogue remains firm. We are also closely monitoring possible provocations by the North," said a government official.

This photo taken on July 19, 2017, shows a South Korean soldier guarding in the truce village of Panmunjom inside the Demilitarized Zone which bisects South and North Korea. (Yonhap)

sooyeon@yna.co.kr
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