Editor’s note: Very scary situation. Unstable governments with nukes!
SEOUL — North Korea said Monday that it had “completely scrapped” the 1953 armistice agreement that ended the Korean War, following up on a threat made days earlier and increasing the prospect of a strike against or a skirmish with the South, analysts said.
The North has made several similar announcements in the past, most recently in 2009, and analysts said this latest declaration could prove to be bluster rather than the marker of a wholesale shift in Pyongyang’s dealings with Seoul. Experts also note that Pyongyang — whether bound by the cease-fire or not — has occasionally ignored its terms, most notably with fatal attacks on the South in 2010.
Still, the armistice has kept a shaky peace on the peninsula for 60 years, and the North’s apparent withdrawal — coupled with its severing of a communications hotline at the demilitarized border Monday — makes it more difficult for South Korea and the United States to prevent or resolve disputes with Pyongyang.
Anxiety about the North is particularly high for the United States and its allies because they have little insight into the decision-making style of Kim Jong Eun, the young leader who took power of the opaque police state in December 2011 and now appears to be using the same brand of brinkmanship his father once did.