South Korean soldiers stand guard in the truce village of Panmunjom inside the demilitarized zone (DMZ) separating South and North Korea on March 03, 2023 in Panmunjom, South Korea © Getty Images / Jeon Heon-Kyun – Pool/Getty Images
Pyongyang has said the fracturing of a military accord will likely lead to a “physical clash” South Korean soldiers stand guard in the truce village of Panmunjom inside the demilitarized zone (DMZ) separating South and North Korea on March 03, 2023 in Panmunjom, South Korea © Getty Images / Jeon Heon-Kyun – Pool/Getty Images
North Korea has warned a “military confrontation” with its southern neighbor now appears inevitable after the fracturing of a military agreement intended to prevent an increase in hostilities between the two nations, which technically remain at war.
Under the terms of the Comprehensive Military Agreement (CMA) signed in Pyongyang in September 2018, North and South Korea agreed to “completely cease all hostile acts against each other.” This included ending military drills close to the border, banning live-fire exercises in some areas, and taking steps such as the removal of guard posts along the Demilitarized Zone.
Seoul suspended part of the inter-Korean agreement last month and resumed aerial surveillance. The move came in protest at Pyongyang’s successful launch of a spy satellite, which the South said violated the terms of the accord. In response, the North stated in November that its forces “will never be bound” by the agreement and vowed to restore all measures suspended since 2018.
Pyongyang reiterated its warning on Sunday, declaring that South Korea faces “total collapse” if it makes moves perceived as hostile.
North Korea warns US of conflict red line
“The physical clash and war on the Korean Peninsula have become a matter of time, not possibility,” a military official said, according to the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA). Seoul’s “reckless and imprudent moves” could lead to an “extreme military confrontation,” the official added.
In response, the Foreign Ministry in Seoul said any North Korean launch using ballistic missile technology represents a “clear violation” of UN Security Council resolutions, according to the Yonhap news agency. It insisted that its own spy satellites have been launched in a “lawful” manner that does not violate international peace and security.
“We strongly urge North Korea to immediately stop the false instigation over our lawful actions and any additional provocations and swiftly return to the path of denuclearization,” a Foreign Ministry official said.
On Monday, Pyongyang accused the US of hypocrisy for permitting South Korea to launch a spy satellite from American territory despite condemning the North’s earlier launch.
A statement from North Korea’s National Aerospace Technology Administration derided “the gangster-like logic of the US,” which it warned would cause global peace and stability to be “exposed to an irrevocable danger.”
Pyongyang and Seoul signed a truce to end hostilities during the Korean War in 1953. However, because no formal peace treaty was established, the two countries technically remain at war. (RT)
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