North Korea ends peace pacts with South Korea

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un visiting troops

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un visiting troops (Photo by Reuters)

The announcement that North Korea has ended all peace agreements with South Korea and cutting off its hotline connection with Seoul is not only a reckless decision but a damning one at that.

This announcement is an offshoot of the new UN Security Council agreement to intensify existing sanctions on Pyongyang for proceeding with its February 12 nuclear test.

The new sanctions will “bite hard”, said the US ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice. “They increase North Korea’s isolation and raise the cost to North Korea’s leaders of defying the international community.”

The good thing about this is that China fully agrees with sanction and, in fact, wants full implementation, saying, that efforts must be made to bring North Korea back to negotiations and to defuse tensions.

The resolution adopted by the 15-member Council not only tightened restrictions on the rogue country’s financial dealings, notably its suspect “bulk cash” transfers, but even the earlier resolutions giving the other countries the right to inspect cargo suspected to contain weapons material will become mandatory now.

The bad thing, however, is that even knowing that China has gone against NoKor this time, Pyongyang, through its Foreign Ministry, continues with its bellicose rhetoric and, in fact, threatened a “pre-emptive nuclear attack” against the United States and all other “aggressors”.

What seems to be aggravating the situation is that the annual US- South Korea exercise known as Foal Eagle has started on March 1 and continues until April 30, participated by more than 10,000 US troops along with a far greater number of South Korean personnel.

This generated a warning from Pyongyang that the North Korean military would respond “mercilessly” to any intrusion — “even an inch” — into its land, sea or air space.

This arrogant and threatening language seemed likely to have come from NoKor leader Kim Jong-un himself who visited military units in an island near the sea border known as the Northern Front Line, which has been the scene of previous clashes.

With NoKor also conducting military drills and getting ready for state-wide war practice of an unusual scale in the area, anything can happen, either by accident or by devious intention.

Meanwhile,  Washington said North Korea’s nuclear threats would only lead to Pyongyang’s further international isolation and declared the United States was “fully capable” of defending itself and had reassured South Korea and Japan “at the highest levels” of its commitment to deterrence, through the U.S. nuclear umbrella and missile defense pact.

It would be best for the young, swaggering Kim Jong-un and his military fanatics not to belittle the resolve of the US and her allies in the region to strike back.

But, what I believe will happen at the end is that Kim Jong-un will relent with his tail between his legs – and who cares, he is still the boss – rather than choose the option of dying young.

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