North Korea’s state-run Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea annuls “all agreements on non-aggression reached between the North and the South,” its says in a statement.
This follows news that the UN Security Council had unanimously approved new economic penalties against North Korea for its underground nuclear test last month, imposing sanctions on banking, travel and trade.
South Korean President Park Geun-hye warned North Korea of firm retaliation against any military strikes or other provocations.
“I will deal strongly with North Korea’s provocations,” Park said in a speech at a graduation ceremony for military cadets in Gyeryongdae, central South Korea, according to RT.
If Pyongyang “attacks South Korea with a nuclear weapon, Kim Jong-un’s regime will perish from the Earth”, warned the South.
Meanwhile, continues RT, Beijing, has called for “calm and restraint” and to avoid actions that might further escalate tensions.
“The current situation on the peninsula is highly complex and sensitive” and China “expresses concern,” China’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying is quoted as saying.
“Experts believe the North is incapable of mounting a nuclear warhead on a missile that could reach the US. More pertinently, to do so would be suicidal,” says the Guardian, going on:.
“The tabloid conclusion is that the North’s leaders are crazed – Kim Jong-un is a “deranged despot”, the Sun wrote on Friday – while the Team America version is that they are idiotic.
“Odd as it might sound, the statements are often more nuanced than their flamboyant language initially suggests.
“Experts point out, for example, that Thursday’s threat was addressed to ‘invaders'”. More importantly, as with other bouts of sabre-rattling – such as repeated vows to turn Seoul into a sea of flames – and as with its missile and nuclear tests, there is logic behind the move.”
In other far more important news, while North Korea engages in the latest round of brinkmanship, “Cardinals have set Tuesday as the start date for the conclave to elect the next pope, a milestone in this unusual papal transition and an indication that even without an obvious front-runner, the cardinals have a fairly good idea of who best among them can lead the Catholic Church and tackle its many problems,” says the Montreal Gazette.
Jon Newton — myblogdammit
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