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N. Korea Threatens Seoul despite Accord with U.S.

North Korea Friday renewed threats to launch a "sacred war" against South Korea, indicating cross-border ties will remain icy despite Pyongyang's surprise nuclear deal with Seoul's close ally Washington.

The North's agreement to freeze some nuclear and missile activities in return for massive U.S. food aid has raised cautious hopes of eased tensions under its new young leader Kim Jong-Un.

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Analysts: N. Korea Buys Time with U.S. Nuclear Deal

North Korea's new leaders, hungry for food aid ahead of a landmark anniversary, have bought time in a deal with Washington but show no sign of actually renouncing their nuclear bargaining chip, experts say.

Under the deal announced Wednesday, the communist state now led by the young and untested Kim Jong-Un agreed to suspend nuclear and long-range missile tests, and its uranium enrichment program.

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Israel Says N. Korea Nuclear Deal No Model for Iran

Israel's deputy foreign minister on Thursday said that a North Korean pledge to suspend nuclear tests in exchange for U.S. aid should not be seen as a model for dealing with Iran's nuclear ambitions.

"The two cases are completely dissimilar," Danny Ayalon told Israeli public radio, hours before Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was due to leave for talks in Washington with U.S. President Barack Obama, expected to center on Israeli concerns that Tehran is racing to produce nuclear arms.

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Russia Welcomes North Korea Nuclear Moratorium

Russia on Thursday welcomed a decision by the new leadership in its neighbor North Korea to suspend nuclear tests and its uranium enrichment program in exchange for U.S. food aid.

"We particularly welcome the decision of North Korea to impose a moratorium on nuclear weapons testing and also on uranium enrichment," the foreign ministry said in a statement.

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N. Korea Agrees to Halt Nuclear Program, Let In Inspectors

North Korea's new leadership said Wednesday it would suspend nuclear and missile tests and its uranium enrichment program as part of a deal that includes U.S. food aid for the impoverished nation.

The agreement, confirmed simultaneously by Washington, represents a potential breakthrough in efforts to halt the North's drive for atomic weapons following the death of longtime leader Kim Jong-Il last December.

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Kim Jong Un Issues Threat before South Korea-U.S. Drills

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un threatened to launch a powerful retaliatory strike against South Korea if provoked, state media said Sunday, a day before the start of annual South Korean-U.S. military drills that Pyongyang calls an invasion rehearsal.

South Korean and U.S. officials have said that the 12-day, largely computer-simulated war games set to start Monday are defensive in nature.

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N. Korea Threatens 'Sacred War' over U.S.-South Drill

North Korea on Saturday threatened a "sacred war" over U.S.-South Korean joint military drills next week as a U.S. envoy urged Pyongyang's new leadership to engage in dialogue with the outside world.

The North's National Defense Commission (NDC) denounced the annual joint exercises as a "silent declaration of war," describing them as "unpardonable war hysteria."

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S. Korea Holds Military Drills despite Pyongyang’s Threat

South Korean troops Monday staged a live-fire artillery exercise near the disputed Yellow Sea border despite threats from North Korea's new leadership of "merciless" retaliation.

The defense ministry said the Marine Corps -- which guards "frontline" islands near the flashpoint border -- began the exercise at about 10 am (0100 GMT) and ended it before noon.

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S. Korea, U.S. to Stage Anti-Sub Drill in Yellow Sea

The U.S. and South Korean navies will stage a joint anti-submarine drill in the Yellow Sea next week to guard against potential attacks by North Korea, Seoul's defense ministry said Thursday.

The drill from February 20-24 will involve a number of submarines and warships from both countries, a ministry spokesman told Agence France Presse without elaborating.

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Seoul Sees Window for Change in N. Korea after Kim

The death of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il raised uncertainty but also opened a window for change in the communist state, South Korea's top official for cross-border ties said Wednesday.

"Chairman Kim Jong-Il's death heightened uncertainties," Unification Minister Yu Woo-Ik said in a speech to a forum.

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