North Korea urged to opt for peace amid ‘extreme’ danger of nuclear war
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North Korea urged to opt for peace amid ‘extreme’ danger of nuclear war

SOUTH KOREA has urged its northern neighbour to honour all bilateral agreements and steps towards peace, while Pyongyang accused it of escalating tensions along the border.

Wednesday was the tenth anniversary of an agreement reached during the second-ever bilateral meeting between the Koreas, in which then-leaders President Roh Moo-hyun and North Korea’s Kim Jong-il pledged to cooperate upon ending hostilities and military confrontation.

“North Korea should respect all existing agreements between the South and the North, and come forward to a path advancing peace on the Korean Peninsula,” said an official from South Korea’s unification ministry as quoted by the state media agency Yonhap.

The two countries have technically been at war since the 1950s.

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A South Korean soldier stands guard as a North Korean flag flutters on top of a tower at the propaganda village of Gijungdong in North Korea, in this picture taken near the truce village of Panmunjom, South Korea, September 28, 2017. Source: Reuters/Kim Hong-Ji

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Tensions have been running high on the peninsula amid a war of words between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Trump has repeatedly issued warnings to Pyongyang, threatening to bring “fire and fury” and to “totally destroy” North Korea if need be.

The president has also repeatedly mocked Kim, referring to him in Twitter tirades as “Little Rocket Man”.

North Korean newspaper Rodong Sinmun on Wednesday blamed Seoul for heightened tensions, writing that “the danger of a nuclear war on the Korean Peninsula is rising at an extreme rate, even though 10 years has passed since the historic Oct 4 declaration was announced.”

“The South Korean puppets are deepening the disruption of the North-South relations and further escalating the danger of a nuclear war.”

South Korea also suggested on Wednesday that it is looking to revise its 2012 free trade agreement with the US.