US signals time for negotiations with North Korea?

North Korea threatened Tuesday to nullify the armistice agreement that ended the Korean War in 1953, citing U.S.-led international moves to impose new sanctions against it over its recent nuclear test, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported.

Meanwhile, a draft U.S. resolution to authorize more sanctions against North Korea in response to its recent controversial nuclear test was formally introduced today at the U.N. Security Council by U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice.

Pyongyang continues to make “belligerent and reckless moves that threaten the region, their neighbors and now, directly, the United States of America,”┬ásaid U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in a CNN interview. “It’s very easy for Kim Jong Un to prove his good intent here also. Just don’t fire the next missile. Don’t have the next test. Just say you’re ready to talk,” said Kerry, speaking on the last full day of his first international trip as the nation’s top diplomat.

“Rather than threaten to abrogate and threaten to move in some new direction, the world would be better served” if Kim took some action to engage in legitimate dialogue, Kerry said. “Our preference is not to brandish threats to each other. It’s to get to the table” to negotiate, he said.

Mark Fitzpatrick, director of the Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Programme at the UK-based International Institute for Strategic Studies, characterized North Korea’s threat to nullify the 1953 armistice as “largely bluster,” pointing out that North Korea has “broken the armistice many times, most recently in 2010 by sinking a South Korean corvette and shelling a South Korean-populated island.”

But, he added, “the threat does point to more trouble to come from the recalcitrant hermit kingdom. Things are going to get worse before they get better.”

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