U.N. command in South Korea should be dissolved: N. Korean envoy

The North Korean ambassador to the United Nations insisted that the U.N. Command located in South Korea be dismantled in a rare press briefing on Friday as a necessary step to easing tensions in the region.

"Dissolution of the U.N. command in South Korea is a prerequisite requirement of the times in easing tension and guaranteeing peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and in the Asia Pacific region," Sin Son Ho told reporters.

He had called the unusual conference ahead of the 60th anniversary on July 27 since Korean armistice agreement was signed, reiterating an earlier message that the Foreign Ministry had issued in January.

Sin also claimed that the U.N. command was "a tool of war for aggression" by the United States.

As the armistice was not a peace treaty the peninsula was divided and the border in the South was monitored by the U.S.-led U.N. command.

Stressing that his country was committed to the dissolution of the command, the envoy said he is considering taking action at the General Assembly.

The press conference comes on the heels of a trilateral meeting held in Washington between Japan, South Korea and the United States. On Wednesday they jointly urged the reclusive country to give up its nuclear weapons before the multi-party negotiations format, called the six party talks, could resume.

On its nuclear program, the North Korean ambassador said, "The DPRK will never give up its nuclear deterrent unless the U.S. fundamentally and irreversibly abandons its hostile policy and nuclear threat toward the DPRK and dissolve the U.N. Command." The DPRK is an acronym for the North's official name -- the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

The talks to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula involved the two Koreas, Japan, China, Russia and the United States and have been stalled for years.

On Sunday Pyongyang also called for an unconditional high-level dialogue with the United States.