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N. Korea Threatens to Scrap All Inter-Korean Pacts

Posted January. 31, 2009 20:03,   


North Korea said yesterday it will nullify all inter-Korean agreements aimed at reducing political and military tension and stop recognizing the Northern Limit Line as the western sea border.

In a statement issued by the North`s Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, an organization handling inter-Korean affairs, Pyongyang denounced the Lee Myung-bak government’s hard-line policy. “We are no longer bound to inter-Korean accords, which have already become dead documents,” it said.

Though North Korea failed to elaborate on what agreement it wants to nullify, experts here say it was referring to the 1972 joint declaration and the 1991 basic agreement since “respect for ideology and system,” “suspension of slander and defamation of each other,” and “prevention of armed clashes” were mentioned in the statement.

The North said agreements set for nullification include Article 2 of the 1991 agreement on inter-Korean reconciliation, non-aggression, cooperation and exchanges and Article 3 of the annexed agreement to the accord. It denied the legitimacy of the Northern Limit Line, the de facto inter-Korean sea border to the west.

“We agreed to the accord at that time to prevent military clashes and keep peace on the Korean Peninsula, not to recognize the illegitimate and outrageous Northern Limit Line unilaterally drawn by the United States,” Pyongyang said in the statement.

“We drew the most reasonable boundary line in the (Yellow) Sea and declared it the only legitimate sea border in a statement issued by the spokesman of the General Staff of the (North) Korean People`s Army.”

To this heightened threat, the South Korean government said it will calmly respond but sternly deal with any military provocation from the North.

The Unification Ministry told a news conference, “Our government expresses deep regret. The basic agreement and the provision on the Northern Limit Line can be revised when two parties reach an agreement. They cannot be scrapped by a unilateral declaration.”

A high-ranking Seoul official also said, “The North is likely to stir up a military provocation in the (Yellow) Sea in May and June, when blue crab catching goes into full swing.”

The Defense Ministry in Seoul warned that any aggression by North Korea will face firm counteraction.

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