North Korea Declares ‘Quasi State of War’ With South Korea


Originally posted on TIME:

(PYONGYANG, North Korea) — North Korea on Friday declared its frontline troops in a “a quasi-state of war” and warned of military operations a day after the rival Koreas exchanged fire across the world’s most heavily armed border.

The North has made similar bombastic claims before and the huge numbers of soldiers and military equipment stationed along the Koreas’ tense border mean the area is always essentially in a “quasi-state of war.” Still, the declaration, following South Korea’s firing of dozens of shells across the border after the North lobbed several rounds at a South Korean town, signals a worrying development.

The North’s official Korean Central News Agency reported Friday that leader Kim Jong Un ordered at an emergency military meeting that his troops “be fully ready for any military operations at any time from 5 p.m. (0730 GMT) Friday.”

The report said that “military commanders were urgently dispatched for…

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North Korea and South Korea are exchanging gunfire over a set of loudspeakers


Originally posted on Quartz:

North Korea has reportedly fired shots at South Korea, according to state-run South Korean media, KBS. The shelling, which happened at 4pm local time, is believed to be aimed at loudspeakers on the South Korean side of the border that have been airing anti-Pyongyang propaganda. South Korea fired shots back at the north. “Our side staged a counter-attack with dozens of 155mm shells,” a ministry spokesman told AFP.

Tensions between the two Koreas, still technically at war after agreeing to an armistice and not a peace treaty in the 1950s, have been higher than normal recently. Seoul accused North Korea of planting a land mine that killed two South Korean soldiers earlier this month. In response to the land mine incident, South Korea took up a tactic last used over a decade ago, and began blaring anti-North Korea broadcasts over the border. (The speakers have also been used to blast K-pop into the…

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North and South Korea Trade Fire on Their Border


Originally posted on TIME:

(SEOUL, South Korea) — South Korea’s military fired dozens of shells Thursday at rival North Korea after the North lobbed a single artillery round at a South Korean border town, the South’s Defense Ministry said.

The ministry said in a statement that its artillery landed at the place where North Korea had fired its shell. There were no other immediate details from the military, but it appeared that North Korea did not respond to South Korea’s returned fire.

About 80 residents in the South Korean town where the shell fell, Yeoncheon, were evacuated to underground bunkers, and authorities urged other residents to evacuate, a Yeoncheon official said, requesting anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to speak to the media. He said there were no reports of injuries or damage in Yeoncheon.

In the nearby border city of Paju, residents were asked to stay home, officials said.

North Korea had previously threatened…

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