By Walter T. Ham IV, 8th U.S. Army Public AffairsJuly 27, 2010
PANMUNJOM, South Korea -- While celebrating the 57th anniversary of the Korean War Armistice here at the truce village where it was signed July 27, 1953, the top United Nations commander called on North Korea to abide by the agreement and cease all provocations.
"I call on North Korea to live up to the terms of the armistice and to cease all acts of provocation," said Gen. Walter L. Sharp, commander of United Nations Command, Combined Forces Command and U.S. Forces Korea.
United Nations Command and Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission officials held the ceremony inside the NNSC Conference Room, a building that sits astride the border that separates the two Koreas. Outside of the conference room, North Korean soldiers looked through the windows and took pictures near the Military Demarcation Line.
Calling the deadly torpedo attack on ROK Navy Corvette Cheonan a violation of the armistice, Sharp encouraged the international community to work together to persuade North Korea to chart a new course.
"The tragic and unprovoked attack on the Cheonan earlier this year is the latest in the long series of North Korean provocations," said Sharp.
"I ask all countries and especially China to work with us in responding to the north's provocations," said Sharp. "We desire all nations' cooperation in addressing North Korea's aggressive behavior, and we ask them to assist in convincing North Korea that its path to security and prosperity lies in the cessation of its provocative behavior, better relations with its neighbors and complete, irreversible de-nuclearization."
The Korean War Armistice was signed on July 27, 1953, and it has never been replaced with a permanent peace treaty. The armistice agreement established the truce village in Panmumjom where the ceremony was held.