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North Korea says enters “state of war” against South

North Korea says enters “state of war” against South thumbnail

North Korea said on Saturday it was entering a “state of war” with South Korea, its latest bout of angry rhetoric directed at Seoul and Washington, but the South brushed off the statement as little more than tough talk.

The North also threatened to shut down an industrial zone it operates jointly with the South near the heavily armed border between the two sides if Seoul continued to say the complex was being kept running for money.

The two Koreas have been technically in a state of war for six decades under a truce that ended their 1950-53 conflict. Despite its threats, few people see any indication Pyongyang will risk a near-certain defeat by re-starting full-scale war.

“From this time on, the North-South relations will be entering the state of war and all issues raised between the North and the South will be handled accordingly,” a statement carried by the North’s official KCNA news agency said.

KCNA said the statement was issued jointly by the North’s government, ruling party and other organizations.

There was no sign of unusual activity in the North’s military to suggest an imminent aggression, a South Korean defense ministry official said.

The North has been threatening to attack the South and U.S. military bases almost on a daily basis since the beginning of March, when U.S. and South Korean militaries started routine drills that have been conducted for decades without incident.

Many in the South have regarded the North’s willingness to keep open the Kaesong industrial zone, located just a few miles (km) north of the border, as a sign that Pyongyang will not risk losing a lucrative source of foreign currency by mounting a real act of aggression.

The Kaesong zone is a vital source of hard currency for the impoverished state and hundreds of South Korean workers and vehicles enter daily after crossing the armed border.

“If the puppet traitor group continues to mention the Kaesong industrial zone is being kept operating and damages our dignity, it will be mercilessly shut off and shut down,” KCNA quoted an agency that operates Kaesong as saying in a statement.

The threat to shut it down could sharply escalate tensions because it would suspend a symbolic joint project run by the rivals. It could also trap hundreds of South Korean workers and managers of the 123 firms that have factories there.

The North has previously suspended operations at the factory zone at the height of political tensions with the South, only to let it resume operations later.

The project has been kept running despite the North’s move on Wednesday to cut off a military hotline used to process the hundreds of workers and vehicles that cross the Demilitarized Zone border.

“We have been exercising extreme restraint considering the plight of medium and small companies whose livelihood depends on the Kaesong industrial project as an immediate shutdown will drive them to bankruptcy and people jobless,” KCNA quoted the agency as saying.

The South’s Unification Ministry, which handles political ties with the North, said earlier in the day that the Kaesong industrial park was operating as normal with workers and vehicles crossing the border both says.

“North Korea’s statement today (on entering a state of war) … is not a new threat but is the continuation of provocative threats,” a ministry statement said.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on Friday signed off on an order putting its missile units on standby to attack U.S. military bases in the South and the Pacific, after the United States flew two nuclear-capable stealth bombers over the Korean peninsula in a rare show of force.

U.S. officials said the B-2 bombers were on a diplomatic sortie aimed at reassuring allies South Korea and Japan and were also aimed at trying to nudge Pyongyang back to dialogue, although there was no guarantee Kim would get the message as intended.

The South Korean government brushed off the North’s latest statement on entering a state of war, saying there was nothing fresh in it to cause greater alarm. South Koreans went about with daily lives as they have done through March under the North’s constant threat of attack.


7 Comments on "North Korea says enters “state of war” against South"

  1. dsula on Sat, 30th Mar 2013 12:03 pm 


  2. BillT on Sat, 30th Mar 2013 2:28 pm 

    “Cry Wolf’ often enough and when it really happens … no one reacts.

    The N.Koreans have the nuclear ability to take out S. Korea and Japan and maybe Taiwan. Any one of those would stop the JIT shipments to many countries. The Fukushima tsunami shut down a lot of industry all over the world when needed parts stopped flowing. Imagine if they never started up again. Better check on what S.Korea exports to YOUR country to see how a war there would affect YOUR life.

  3. WhenTheEagleFlies on Sat, 30th Mar 2013 2:35 pm 

    Let Russia handle N/S Korea. They should have finished the job back in ’45.

  4. GregT on Sat, 30th Mar 2013 5:04 pm 



    I am sure that there are many children that could do a better job here. I don’t think that you are giving 5 year olds enough credit.

  5. Kenz300 on Sun, 31st Mar 2013 12:24 am 

    Hate, anger, crazy and guns do not belong together.

    That goes for individuals and countries.

    Both Iran and N Korea are run by people that are out of touch with reality.

    Nuclear weapons in the hands of crazy could be disastrous.

  6. BillT on Sun, 31st Mar 2013 2:46 am 

    Kenz, what do you call the USofA? If they are not out of control, who is? Both Iran and NK are under all kinds of embargoes and restrictions. The Us is trying to kill them by starvation and disease. Who wouldn’t react to such measures? If NK was allowed normal trade, they would be less belligerent. Ditto for Iran. Iran is only protecting their right to be a sovereign country. Sovereign countries not under the Empire’s boot is treated like trash.

    I expect that IF either country ever does rebel, World War 3, nuclear, will result. When it is over you will not have to worry about those ‘troublemakers’. That is, IF you are still alive.

  7. dsula on Sun, 31st Mar 2013 1:23 pm 

    That’s right Billy. For a moment I forgot. The REAL evil is of course USA. Without the US, both Iran and NK would be posterchildren of freedom, human rights and reason. Damn the US (but please keep sending the social security check to Manila, because life in a 3rd world hole is only fun with plenty of $$ or euros)

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