North Korea ceasefire threat

North Korea has said it will scrap its ceasefire with South Korea if they and the US continue with military drills, the KCNA news agency said. The ceasefire has been in place since the end of the Korean war in 1953.

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The 1953 Korean War armistice

North Korea's threat to scrap the 1953 armistice jeopardises a truce that has lasted almost 60 years. Here are some of the key features of the armistice:

  • Brought an end to three years of hostilities that claimed two million lives
  • Intended as a temporary truce, not a peace treaty - the countries are still technically at war
  • Agreed a 2.4-mile demilitarised zone between the two Koreas
  • Included a mechanism for the transfer of prisoners of war
  • Members of the Military Armistice Commission from both sides still meet regularly

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US draft takes North Korea sanctions 'to the next level'

UN Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice Credit: APTN

US envoy to the United Nations, Susan Rice, has said that new sanctions against North Korea under consideration by the Security Council are "exceptional" in their breadth and scope.

She said the draft resolution tabled by the US "will significantly impede North Korea's ability to develop further its illicit nuclear and ballistic missile programmes".

She added that the sanctions would target the "illicit activities of North Korean diplomatic personnel", "banking relationships" and "illicit transfers of bulk cash" in addition to "new travel restrictions".

UN Security Council to discuss North Korea sanctions

The 15 members of the UN Security Council are expected to begin closed-door talks on North Korea in the coming minutes.

The scheduled meeting in New York is to discuss a draft resolution that would sanction the country for its third nuclear test last month.

UN diplomats have told Reuters new agency they expect to vote on the draft resolution by the end of this week, although it could face opposition from China.

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North Korea threatens South Korea and US

North Korean leader Kim Jung Un. Credit: Reuters

The Korean People's Army Supreme Command spokesman said North Korea would scrap the the armistice signed in 1953 if the South and United States continue with two-month long annual military drills, according to the KCNA news agency.

The armistice ended a three-year conflict between North and South Korea with a truce rather than a treaty.

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