North Korea said on Friday that it was scrapping a non-aggression pact and all other agreements aimed at easing tensions with South Korea and severing their emergency hotline.
The announcement in state media was released a day after the U.N. Security Council imposed more sanctions on the communist country over its third nuclear test and North Korea threatened the United States with a pre-emptive nuclear strike.
Pyongyang “abrogates all agreements on non-aggressions reached between the North and the South,” state media quoted the North’s Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea as saying.
The communications channel set up in the border village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone would be cut immediately, a committee statement said.
“This channel can no longer perform its mission due to the prevailing grave situation,” it said.
The tone from North Korea has become increasingly belligerent since the international condemnation of its February 12, 2013 nuclear test.
On Wednesday, it threatened to revoke the armistice that ended the 1950-53 Korean War.
In 2009, North Korea also declared that all reconciliation agreements between it and its capitalist neighbour were void.
The two countries signed a non-aggression pact in 1991 that called for the peaceful settlement of their disagreements and the prevention of military clashes.
North Korea’s rhetoric has risen with the more recent tensions. On Friday, it called the joint U.S.-South Korean military exercises now being conducted “open acts of aggression” and “a vivid expression of wanton violation of all the agreements on non-aggression reached between the North and the South.”
“The frozen North-South relations have gone so far beyond the danger line that they are no longer repairable and an extremely dangerous situation is prevailing on the Korean Peninsula, where a nuclear war may break out right now,” the committee statement read.