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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Press TV

Ban Ki-moon warns of rising tensions on Korean peninsula

Iran Press TV

Tue Apr 2, 2013 1:41PM GMT

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has warned about tensions simmering on the Korean peninsula saying the crisis must be resolved through dialogue.

Speaking at a news conference in Andorra, Ban said on Tuesday that “The current crisis has already gone too far… Things must begin to calm down… Dialogue and negotiations are the only way to resolve the current crisis.”

Earlier in the day, Pyongyang announced that it would restart operations at the country’s main Yongbyon nuclear complex, which was closed in 2007 as part of an international nuclear disarmament deal.

This comes after the US sent a guided-missile destroyer to the southwestern coast of the Korean Peninsula to ‘defend against a possible North Korean rocket launch.’

On Saturday, Pyongyang announced that it is in a “state of war” with South Korea, warning that any provocation by Seoul and Washington will trigger an all-out nuclear war.

Pyongyang said henceforth “the North-South relations will be entering a state of war and all issues raised between the North and the South will be handled accordingly."

"The long-standing situation of the Korean Peninsula being neither at peace nor at war is finally over," said a statement issued jointly by the government, political parties and other organizations.

Pyongyang also warned that if Washington and Seoul launched a preemptive attack, the conflict "will not be limited to a local war, but develop into an all-out war, a nuclear war."

Last week, North Korea said that its military should be prepared to attack "all US military bases in the Asia-Pacific region, including the US mainland, Hawaii, and Guam" and South Korea.

The announcement came days after South Korea and the US signed a new military pact in response to what they called even low-level provocations by Pyongyang.

On March 11, Seoul and Washington launched a week-long annual joint military maneuver near the Korean Peninsula despite warnings from Pyongyang. The maneuver involved 10,000 South Korean soldiers and about 3,000 US troops

MAM/JR/SL



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