North Korea threatens imminent strikes against South, warns US
North Korea on Saturday threatened South Korea with “indiscriminate” military strikes unless it halts cross-border propaganda broadcasts, and issued fresh nuclear weapons warnings against the United States.
The threats came amid escalating military tensions on the Korean peninsula following a landmine attack South Korea blamed on the North and ahead of a major South Korea-US joint military exercise condemned by Pyongyang.
They also coincided with celebrations in both Koreas to mark the 70th anniversary of the Korean peninsula’s 1945 liberation from Japanese colonial rule.
Initially there were hopes the anniversary might be an opportunity for some sort of inter-Korean rapprochement, but instead ties have spiralled downwards to the familiar accompaniment of angry rhetoric and mutual recrimination.
After three landmine blasts maimed two South Korean soldiers on border patrol, Seoul this week resumed high-decibel propaganda broadcasts across the heavily-militarised frontier, using batteries of loudspeakers that had lain silent for more than a decade.
Pyongyang rejected accusations that it was behind the mine incident as “absurd”, and its frontline army border command on Saturday demanded the broadcasts be halted immediately.
South Korean veterans hold placards showing spray-painted portraits of North Korean leader Kim Jong- …
– ‘All-out’ military action –
Failure to do so would trigger “an all-out military action of justice to blow up all means for ‘anti-North psychological warfare’ in all areas along the front,” the command said in a statement carried by the North’s official KCNA news agency.
The action will involve “indiscriminate strikes which envisage even possible challenge and escalating counteraction,” the statement said.
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