Written by James Washington
On July 27, 1953, the Korean Armistice Agreement was signed into effect by North Korean General Nam II (of the North Korean People’s Army), the Chinese People’s Volunteer Army and U.S. Army Lieutenant General William Harrison, Jr., representing the United Nations Command.
Among other points, the agreement stated that North and South Korea would put a stop to “hostilities and of all acts of armed force until a final peaceful settlement is achieved.” The armistice also reestablished the border of the two nations along the 38th parallel. This agreement effectively put a cease-fire into effect (in regards to the Korean War.)
On March 11, a North Korean newspaper (The Rodong Sinmun) reported that the North Korean Army was ridding itself of all non-aggression pacts that had been established with South Korea and that North Korea had the right to make a preemptive nuclear attack. In other words, North Korea is making it clear that, after nearly 60 years of peace, an attack could take place at any time.
This announcement came shortly after North Korea’s accusations of the U.S., and South Korea’s joint naval exercises reducing the armistice to nothing more than “a dead paper.” The U.S. and South Korea’s joint naval exercises are an annual event.
This isn’t the first time North Korea has ended their armistice with their southern neighbor. There have been occasions in 2003 and 2009 in which North Korea has verbally ended the agreement. While the two sides have never officially ended their war from over a half century ago, this leads to worries that an attack could be imminent.
However, in 2010, a barrage of North Korean artillery claimed the lives of four South Koreans. Also, a suspected North Korean torpedo sank South Korea’s ROKS Cheonan, killing 46 sailors. Neither attack was responded to by South Korea, and it is these actions, among others, that may have North Korea believing that another attack would not be counteracted.
While the U.S. and South Korea scoffed at North Korea’s allegations, it has been made clear that any attacks will not be tolerated. The U.S. has made it perfectly clear that there will be repercussions for any form of nuclear threats, whether they are physical attacks or even the transfer of nuclear weapons or materials to others.
The U.S. should always keep a cautious eye, and I commend the responsibility and action of our nation in times such as these.
I personally feel that the recent ending of the armistice by North Korea is nothing more than talk. I could be wrong, but at the end of the day, I feel confident that the U.S. will meet all threats and opposed actions with force.