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NKorea Marks End of Korean War         07/27 06:09

   PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) -- North Korean officials warned the United 
States that another war on the Korean Peninsula would leave no Americans alive 
to sign a surrender document as the country marked Monday's anniversary of the 
armistice that ended fighting in the Korean War more than six decades ago.

   Pyongyang and other cities around North Korea were decked out with flags and 
banners as North Koreans flocked to patriotic gatherings and mass dance 
celebrations to mark the anniversary of the July 27, 1953, agreement that 
brought the three-year Korean war to an end with an armistice, not a peace 
treaty.

   North Korean officials took the opportunity of the anniversary to step up 
their anti-U.S. rhetoric and call upon the nation to redouble its devotion to 
the nation's current leader, Kim Jong Un, the third leader in the Kim dynasty, 
and prepare for a final showdown with Washington.

   The anniversary is hailed in North Korea as a victory over the U.S., which 
fought with the South Koreans and U.N. allies against the North's forces, who 
were supported by China and the Soviet Union.

   In a speech to veterans on Saturday, Kim Jong Un stressed the importance of 
instilling the country's young people with the same fighting spirit and 
devotion as the generation that experienced the war. But he also stressed that 
North Korea has a new ace in the hole --- a nuclear arsenal of its own.

   "Gone forever is the era when the United States blackmailed us with nukes; 
now the United States is no longer a source of threat and fear for us and we 
are the very source of fear for it," he said in the speech, the text of which 
was broadcast on North Korean television.

   At a separate gathering held Sunday, Korean People's Army Gen. Pak Yong Sik, 
who is believed to be the country's new defense minister, said that if the 
United States does not abandon its hostile policies toward Pyongyang and 
provokes another war, the North is prepared to fight until "there would be no 
one left to sign a surrender document."

   "It is more than 60 years since the ceasefire on (the) land, but peace has 
not yet settled on it," he told the meeting, which included high-level 
officials, veterans and diplomats stationed in Pyongyang. "The past Korean War 
brought about the beginning of the downhill turn for the U.S., but the second 
Korean war will bring the final ruin to U.S. imperialism."

   The anniversary brought a festive atmosphere to the capital, with citizens 
using the holiday not only to show their patriotic pride by laying flowers 
before statues of North Korea's first president Kim Il Sung and his son, Kim 
Jong Il, but also to enjoy the warm summer weather at parks and ice cream 
stands.


(KA)


 
 
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