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North Korea threatens to end 1953 armistice over US-S. Korea war games

The armistice between North and South Korea has been in place for nearly 60 years. The government of Kim Jong-un is upset over upcoming military manuevers by the US and South Korea.

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In this undated file photo released by the Korean Central News Agency and distributed by the Korea News Service, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un attends a consultative meeting with officials in the fields of state security and foreign affairs at undisclosed location in North Korea.

KCNA via Korea News Service/AP/File

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North Korea threatened on Tuesday to scrap an armistice that ended the 1950-53 civil war and sever a military "hotline" with the United States if South Korea and Washington pressed on with two-month-long war games.

It was a notable sharpening in the North's often bellicose rhetoric and followed word from UN diplomats that the United States and China had struck a tentative deal on a draft UN Security Council sanctions resolution that would punish North Korea for its third nuclear test, which it conducted last month.

"We will completely nullify the Korean armistice," the North's KCNA news agency said, quoting the Korean People's Army (KPA) Supreme Command spokesman.

"The war exercise being done by the United States and the puppet south Korea is a systematic act of destruction aimed at the Korean armistice."

The two Koreas remain technically at war since the 1950-53 conflict ended in a truce rather than a peace treaty.

"We will be suspending the activities of the KPA representative office at Panmunjom (truce village) that had been tentatively operated by our army as the negotiating body to establish a peace regime on the Korean peninsula," KCNA quoted the spokesman as saying.

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