N Korea threat to scrap armistice

North Korea threatened to scrap an armistice that ended the 1950-53 civil war and sever a military “hotline” with the US if South Korea and Washington pressed on with two-month-long war games.

It was a notable sharpening in the North’s often bellicose rhetoric and followed word from UN diplomats that the US and China had struck a tentative deal on a draft UN Security Council sanctions resolution that would punish North Korea for its third nuclear test, carried out last month.

“We will completely nullify the Korean armistice,” said the North’s KCNA news agency, quoting the Korean People’s Army Supreme Command spokesman.

About 200,000 Korean troops and 10,000 US forces are expected to be mobilised for their defensive ‘Foal Eagle’ exercise, which began on Mar 1 and goes on until the end of April.

Separate computer-simulated drills called ‘Key Resolve’ start on Mar 11.

The UN diplomats said they expected to receive the draft resolution on North Korea last night.

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