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

(Newser) – 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.

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)
In this March 11, 2013 photo, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un greets military personnel during a visit to frontline units near the South's western border island, Baengnyeong.   (AP Photo/KCNA via KNS)
In this March 11, 2013 photo, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un waves at military officers after inspecting the Wolnae Islet Defense Detachment.   (AP Photo/KCNA via KNS)
In this March 11, 2013 photo, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un confers with officers at a long-range artillery sub-unit during his visit to frontline units.   (AP Photo/KCNA via KNS)
In this March 11, 2013 photo, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un looks at South's western border island of Baengnyeong during his visit to the Wolnae Islet Defense Detachment.   (AP Photo/KCNA via KNS)
In this March 11, 2013 photo, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un rides on a boat, heading for the Wolnae Islet Defense Detachment, North Korea.   (AP Photo/KCNA via KNS)
South Korean artillery vehicles move during an exercise near the border village of Panmunjom, South Korea, Tuesday, March 12, 2013.   (AP Photo/Yonhap, Lim Byung-shick)
South Korean army soldiers patrol along a barbed-wire fence near Panmunjom, which has separated the two Koreas since the Korean War, Tuesday, March 12, 2013.   (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)
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