15:19 GMT18 January 2021
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    The severing of trade ties with South Korea is a futile effort by North Korea to reverse recent sanctions imposed by the United States and UN for Pyongyang’s recent nuclear activities, US Defense Trade Advisory Group member Lawrence Ward told Sputnik.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Earlier on Thursday, North Korea declared all agreements on economic cooperation and exchanges with the South invalid, according to a statement issued by Pyongyang’s Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea.

    "North Korea seems to be trying to bully the United States and the United Nations into reversing recent decisions regarding sanctions on North Korea," Ward said.

    He added it was "hard to imagine" North Korea’s manoeuvre would persuade the United States or UN to soften recent sanctions in any way, or that Pyongyang would be successful in isolating its southern neighbour.

    Seoul’s allies, Ward noted, are undoubtedly monitoring the evolving situation between South and North Korea to see what type of support they might be called upon to provide to South Korea.

    "It is very doubtful that South Korea’s allies will simply leave it out to dry," Ward claimed.

    According to The Korean Times newspaper, Pyongyang’s decision is connected with a new package of economic sanctions on the part of South Korea.

    Earlier this month, the UN Security Council introduced new sanctions against North Korea in response to Pyongyang’s January hydrogen bomb test, as well as the launch, a month later, of a long-range rocket to allegedly place a satellite into orbit.

    The Defense Trade Advisory Group, established by an act of the US Congress, is comprised of private sector experts appointed by the Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs to advise the Department of State on global security-related trade matters.


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