MOSCOW, March 8 (RIA Novosti) - North Korea is annulling non-aggression deals with South Korea, the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea said in a statement, according to the state Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).
The UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution on Thursday outlining new sanctions against North Korea in the wake of its recent nuclear test. Large-scale South Korean-US military exercises Key Resolve and Foal Eagle, held in March, are believed to be the direct motive for the statement.
The Committee, which plays the role of the North's state agency for relations with the South, also said a joint statement on denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula would no longer be in effect, and added that the hotline between the North and the South would be cut off.
The fourth set of UN sanctions is aimed at curbing the activities of North Korean banks suspected of funneling money to the communist regime's nuclear and missile programs.
The resolution includes measures to step up the scrutiny of suspicious North Korean sea and air cargo shipments and expands previous restrictions to encompass three North Korean officials and two entities in the country's weapons industry.
The resolution also condemns the latest North Korean nuclear test "in the strongest terms" for its disregard of previous UN resolutions, bans further ballistic missile launches, nuclear tests "or any other provocation," and demands that North Korea return to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
Russia, which currently holds the UN Security Council’s presidency, issued a statement on Thursday expressing hope that Pyongyang would take the new sanctions seriously and halt further nuclear and ballistic missile development.
North Korea warned Thursday it could launch a preemptive nuclear strike against potential aggressors as the UN Security Council prepared to impose a new set of sanctions on the “rogue” nuclear state. The United States responded by saying it is "fully capable of defending against any North Korean ballistic missile attack."
Earlier in the week, Pyongyang announced that it would annul the 1953 armistice that ended the three-year-long war over the Korean Peninsula in anticipation of the UN vote and the Key Resolve and Foal Eagle joint military exercises involving South Korea and the United States near North Korea's borders.
North Korea conducted a third nuclear test in defiance of UN resolutions and appeals from its neighbors on February 12. The secretive regime previously conducted nuclear tests in 2006 and 2009.