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DPRK urges Annan to dissolve UN command
Updated: 2004-07-27 11:08

DPRK urged the United Nations on Tuesday to dissolve the U.N. Command on the tense peninsula and press for the withdrawal of U.S. troops based in ROK.

In a rare letter to U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, DPRK's representative at the Korean War truce village called on the United Nations to dissolve the 50-year-old U.N. Command.

"It is our view that a war in Korea is almost unavoidable as long as the U.S. hostile policy toward the DPRK goes on," said the 1,100-word letter, which the official KCNA news agency said was written by Colonel-General Ri Chan-bok.

DPRK stands for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and ROK the Republic of Korea. 

Ri is the long-serving DPRK's representative at the Panmunjom truce village, which lies in the middle of the Demilitarised Zone that has separated capitalist South Korea from the communist North since the 1950-53 Korean War.

DPRK remains technically at war with the U.S.-led U.N forces in the South because the conflict ended in an armed truce that has not been replaced by a peace treaty.

It was not immediately clear whether Annan received Li's letter, which was dated July 22 and published on Tuesday, the 51st anniversary of the armistice that halted the fighting.

Ri's letter reiterated DPRK war stance and demands for a U.S. pullout and voiced alarm at recent American moves to upgrade military readiness while cutting forces.

The United States announced last month that it planned to withdraw a third of its 37,500 troops from South Korea as part of a long-term global force realignment. It also planned to move forward deployed troops away from the border with the North.

To assuage South Korean concerns that the move would weaken defenses against the North's 1.1 million-strong army, the Pentagon said last year it would spend $11 billion on advanced weaponry.

"Such massive arms buildup of the U.S. prompted the KPA side to judge that the U.S. preparations for a preemptive attack on the DPRK have reached their height," Ri wrote, repeating a mantra of DPRK and its Korea People's Army.

"A preemptive attack in such relations of belligerency as those between the two countries cannot be a monopoly of the U.S.," he wrote. He said a preemptive attack by the North would be an "effective defense to smash the enemy's attempt to attack."

A second Korean War would be "a fierce decisive war unprecedented in the world which may cause horrible destruction and terrible sacrifices beyond human imagination," Ri wrote.

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