No more provocation, France tells North Korea
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France on Saturday called on North Korea to refrain from any further provocative statements after Pyongyang declared that it was in a “state of war” with the South. The US says it is taking the announcement seriously but South Korea shrugged it off.
“France is seriously worried about the situation on the Korean peninsula,” Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesperson Philippe Lalliot said in a statement.
The North must “abstain from further provocations, fulfil its international obligations, within the framework of relevant United Nations resolutions, and swiftly return on the path of dialogue", the statement said.
Earlier on Saturday North Korea said that the neither-war-nor-peace situation that has prevailed since the end of the Korean War in 1953 was “finally over”.
"As of now, inter-Korea relations enter a state of war and all matters between the two Koreas will be handled according to wartime protocol,” a government statement said.
North and South Korea have been technically at war for the past six decades because the 1950-53 Korean War concluded with an armistice and not a peace treaty.
The North on Saturday threatened to shut down a joint industrial complex with South Korea and said it was cutting its last military hotline to the South.
Earlier this month the North announced that it was scrapping the armistice and other bilateral peace pacts signed with Seoul.
The crisis was sparked by South Korea-US joint military exercises.
Washington said it was taking the latest announcement "seriously", but noted it followed a familiar pattern, while South Korea largely dismissed it as an old threat dressed in new clothing.
Russia on Saturday urged the US and North Korea to exercise restraint.
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