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China Daily Website

ROK warns of retaliation against DPRK

Updated: 2013-03-06 15:27
( Xinhua)

SEOUL - The Republic of Korea's military warned on Wednesday that it will "sternly" retaliate against the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) if it takes any provocation.

"If the North (DPRK) goes through with provocation that threatens lives and stability of our nation, our military will strongly and sternly punish the starting point of provocation and supporters for the provocation as well as its leadership," Kim Yong-hyun, Army Maj. Gen. at the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in a press conference.

The warning came one day after the DPRK supreme military command threatened to nullify the Korean War Armistice Agreement in response to ongoing US-ROK military exercises.

A two-month field training exercise called "Foal Eagle" was launched on March 1, with 10,000 US troops and 200,000 South Korean troops involved. Computer-simulated war game called "Key Resolve" will be held between March 11 and 21, involving 10,000 South Korean troops and 3,500 US soldiers.

Kim said the DPRK already received notice from South Korea on the two military drills that "are regular US-ROK combined training exercise for defense."

Despite Seoul's clarification that the annual drills are defensive in nature, Pyongyang denounced them as "an irresponsible and dangerous action" that will further destabilize the current situation.

The DPRK decided to halt from Monday the work of its delegation at Panmunjom, where DPRK and ROK's delegates usually meet for communication and negotiations.

The armistice agreement, which was signed in 1953 to end the Korean War, was designed to "insure a complete cessation of hostilities and of all acts of armed force in Korea until a final peaceful settlement is achieved". A peace treaty has not been signed yet between the DPRK and the ROK.