North Korea's ambassador to the United Nations has called for the dissolution of the U.N. Command in South Korea, accusing the United States of using the force to prepare for war against the North.
In a rare news conference Friday, Ambassador Sin Son Ho blamed the U.S. for rising tensions on the Korean peninsula and said Washington's hostile attitude toward Pyongyang and continuing joint military exercises in the South could lead to a new war "at any moment."
He said the Command is war-oriented rather than peace-oriented and should be dissolved, and that he would submit a plan to dismantle the force to the U.N. General Assembly.
A U.S. State Department spokesman said the U.N. Command is something that has been in Korea for many years and will continue to be.
Sin also repeated Pyongyang's offer to hold high-level, direct discussions with Washington to replace the current cease-fire with a peace treaty.
The three-year war in the early 1950s ended in a stalemate that resulted in a truce, rather than a peace treaty.
In another development Friday, U.S. President Barack Obama issued a notice extending for one year the national emergency executive orders concerning North Korea's nuclear weapons program. The orders place various restrictions on Pyongyang.