SEOUL, March 6 (UPI) -- The United Nations Command remains ready to defend South Korea, its commander said in Seoul Thursday while supporting the 1953 armistice agreement.
Responding to North Korea's latest threat to scrap the agreement that ended the 1950-1953 Korean War, Gen. James Thurman, in a statement carried on the UNC website, said: "For 60 years, the armistice agreement has ensured peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula. It concerns me when any signatory to a mutual agreement makes a public statement contrary to that agreement."
The general said as the UNC Commander he is charged to fully enforce the conditions of the armistice.
"The success of the armistice has enabled the Republic of Korea (South Korea) to become a vibrant democracy and we remain ready to defend the Republic of Korea," Thurman said.
In his role, General Thurman serves as commander of the more than 28,000 U.S. forces in South Korea and the South Korea-U.S. Combined Forces Command.
North Korea, facing new sanctions from the U.N. Security Council over its Feb. 12 nuclear test and reacting to U.S.-South Korea joint military exercises, has threatened to cancel the 1953 agreement.
Separately, South Korean Defense Ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok said: "The armistice agreement is replaceable only by mutual consent. It cannot be nullified by North Korea's unilateral decision," Yonhap News Agency reported.
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