North Korea declares food-for-nukes deal over
Citing the United States' postponement of delivery of food aid, North Korea says that it is no longer obligated to hold off on nuclear development.
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''We have thus become able to take necessary retaliatory measures, free from the agreement," the foreign ministry said, according to the BBC.
"The US will be held wholly accountable for all the ensuing consequences,'' it said. ''Peace is very dear for us but the dignity of the nation and the sovereignty of the country are dearer for us."
Washington was supposed to provide 240,000 tons of food aid to North Korea in exchange for Pyongyang's cessation of uranium enrichment and nuclear and missile tests. But the US postponed food shipments after Pyongyang's plans to launch a rocket became public; the US warned that going through with the launch would abrogate the agreement. The rocket launch – which the North said was to launch a satellite but which others saw as a test of ballistic missile technology – was carried out last week, but ultimately failed. Observers believe another nuclear test – the country's third – is now on the horizon, Agence France-Presse reports.
The rocket launch was strongly criticized by the US, the United Nations, and even North Korean ally China. Two days ago, the UN Security Council "strongly condemned" its actions, calling for further sanctions and other punitive action.