Kim Jong-Un credits nukes for end in standoff

  • 28/08/2015
(Reuters)
(Reuters)

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un says nuclear weapons, not negotiating skills, secured what he's described as a "landmark" agreement this week with South Korea to end a dangerous military standoff.

Chairing a meeting of the Central Military Commission (CMC), Kim credited the North with securing the deal, which had put the rival Koreas back on the path of "reconciliation and trust", the North's official KCNA news agency says.

The agreement reached after marathon day-night talks in the border truce village of Panmunjom, pulled both sides back from the brink of an armed conflict and committed them to starting an official dialogue.

But Kim made it clear that sitting down to talks would not entail North Korea discussing the end of its nuclear weapons program, which the young leader said was key to maintaining peace in the first place.

The Panmunjom agreement "was by no means something achieved on the negotiating table but thanks to the tremendous military muscle with the nuclear deterrent for self-defence", Kim told the meeting.

The latest inter-Korean crisis had its roots in landmine blasts earlier this month that maimed two South Korean soldiers on patrol along the border with the North.

Seoul blamed Pyongyang and responded by switching on banks of giant speakers, which had lain silent for more than a decade, and blasting propaganda messages into North Korea.

The North denied any involvement and threatened to attack the propaganda units as cross-border military tensions soared.

The agreement reached in Panmunjom saw the North express regret - but not admit responsibility - for the maiming of the two soldiers, while the South undertook to cease the high-decibel broadcasts.

AFP

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