North Korea on Friday declared it would no longer be bound by nonaggression agreements with South Korea after being slapped with new U.N. Security Council sanctions, Agence France-Presse reported.
The North "abrogates all agreements on nonaggression reached between the North and the South," the official Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea said in a statement.
Pyongyang frequently makes aggressive threats; it has ramped up its rhetoric in recent days, warning of pre-emptive nuclear strikes on the United States and South Korea. The last violent action from the Stalinist state occurred in late 2010 with the lethal shelling of South Korea's Yeonpyeong Island.
North Korea said it would abandon a 1991 nonaggression agreement on Monday, the same date it previously promised to withdraw from the 1953 truce that ended Korean War armed hostilities. Pyongyang also said it right away would disconnect an inter-Korean military emergency communication line.
South Korean President Park Geun-hye on Friday said she would "deal strongly with North Korea's provocations," the Wall Street Journal reported.
The pariah nation is responding to economic penalties unanimously approved on Thursday by the Security Council. The sanctions are punishment for North Korea's February nuclear test -- it's third -- and are aimed at further undermining its ability to acquire hard currency to fund its unconventional arms programs, Reuters reported.
"When North Korea tries to move money to pay for its nuclear and ballistic missile programs, countries must now block those transfers even if the money is being carried in suitcases full of bulk cash," said U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice.
The Security Council resolution is likely to significantly cut into North Korea's currency smuggling operation and impair its ability to acquire components for its missile and nuclear programs, according to George Lopez, who previously served as a council adviser for sanctions on the North. "Now we may yet see another launch or a bomb test, but over the medium term this resolution will degrade D.P.R.K. capabilities to grow its program," he told Reuters.
China's support of the sanctions is notable as it in the past has blocked Security Council efforts to more strongly punish North Korea for its provocations. As Beijing is the North's primary trading partner, its participation is seen as key to the viability of the sanctions.
"Although China delivered its message of joining U.N. sanctions against North Korea to the international community, it is unlikely to take a maximum approach to implementing the sanctions," Hanyang University Chinese studies professor Moon Heung-ho told the Yonhap News Agency. "There is a high possibility that China might enforce 20-30 percent of the sanctions."