Straits Times [Singapore] – TOKYO – North Korea said yesterday that a 1992 agreement with South Korea to keep the Korean Peninsula free of nuclear weapons was nullified, citing a ‘sinister’ US agenda.
‘The joint agreement to keep the Korean Peninsula nuclear-free was nullified because of a sinister and hostile US policy against North Korea,’ the North’s official news agency KCNA said. The statement was monitored by South Korean news agency Yonhap.
The two Koreas signed the agreement in January 1992 pledging to renounce hostilities and ban the development and deployment of nuclear weapons on the divided peninsula.
It was the last remaining legal obligation under which North Korea was banned from developing atomic arms.
In January, North Korea withdrew from the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty, a global accord to prevent the spread of nuclear arms.
Yesterday’s announcement came as South Korean President Roh Moo Hyun was visiting the United States for a summit with President George W. Bush on North Korea’s nuclear ambitions.
Japan’s Jiji Press also reported yesterday that North Korean leader Kim Jong Il has boasted that Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s trip to Pyongyang for a summit last September was a sign of subservience. # AFP, AP