Saturday, March 30, 2013

WORLD WAR III: "Outbreak Of War Hours Away" - North Korea Says It Has Entered A "State Of War" Against South?!

March 30, 2013 - KOREAN PENINSULA - North Korea said on Saturday it was entering a "state of war" with South Korea in a continuing escalation of angry rhetoric directed at Seoul and Washington, but the South brushed off the statement as little more than tough talk. The two Koreas have been technically in a state of war for six decades under an armistice 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.

North Korea holds mass rally supporting Kim's call to arms.
Credit: Reuters/KCNA

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 or anything to suggest an imminent aggression, a South Korean defense ministry official said.  North Korea 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.

But the North has kept a joint industrial zone with the South running. The Kaesong zone is a source of hard currency for the impoverished state and hundreds of South Korean workers and vehicles enter daily after crossing the heavily armed border between the rivals. 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.

North Korea has been threatening to attack the South and US military bases since the start of March.
Credit: Reuters/KCNA

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 Saturday, 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.

The Unification Ministry, which handles political ties with the North, said the Kaesong industrial park was operating as normal with workers and vehicles crossing the border both says. "North Korea's statement today … is not a new threat but is the continuation of provocative threats," a ministry statement said.

The Defence Ministry urged the North to stop issuing threats, reiterating the position that annual military drills conducted jointly with U.S. forces until the end of April were strictly defensive in nature. The North's statement said it would respond "without mercy" to any action by the South that harmed its sovereignty, suggesting it was not about to mount a pre-emptive attack.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un (L) watches soldiers of the Korean People's Army (KPA) taking part in the landing and anti-landing drills of KPA Large Combined Units 324 and 287 and KPA Navy Combined Unit 597, in the eastern sector of the front and the east coastal area on March 25, 2013, in this picture released by the North's KCNA news agency in Pyongyang March 26, 2013.
Credit: Reuters/KCNA
In 2010, North Korea bombed a South Korean island close to the maritime border that Pyongyang disputes, killing two civilians and two soldiers and prompting the South to strike back with artillery and sharply elevating tensions.

Earlier that year, a South Korean navy ship was struck by a torpedo and sank, killing 46 sailors in an incident widely blamed on the North's military although Pyongyang denies the charge. - Reuters.

"Outbreak Of War Hours Away" As Kim Jong-un Plans U.S. Strike.
Mr Kim directed his rocket units on standby at an overnight emergency meeting with top army commanders 
Photo: Reuters
North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un has ordered missile units to prepare to strike US mainland as a British tour operator was warned that the "outbreak of war probably only hours away". The order came after US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Washington would not be cowed by Pyongyang's bellicose threats and stood ready to respond to "any eventuality".  Mr Kim directed his rocket units on standby at an overnight emergency meeting with top army commanders, hours after nuclear-capable US B-2 stealth bombers were deployed in ongoing US joint military drills with South Korea.  In the event of any "reckless" US provocation, North Korean forces should "mercilessly strike the US mainland ... military bases in the Pacific, including Hawaii and Guam, and those in South Korea", he was quoted as saying by the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).  While North Korea has no proven ability to conduct such strikes, Mr Kim said: "The time has come to settle accounts with the US imperialists." Meanwhile, Dylan Harris, director of Lupine Travel, which specialises in holidays to unusual places like Iran, Chernobyl and Siberia, received an email on Friday morning.  It said US stealth bomber flights over the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DRPK) had made the situation "critical with the outbreak of war probably only hours away". It was not clear who the email was from.  There is currently a British golfer in Pyongyang as part of a group holiday.  Mr Harris said: "I contacted the Foreign Office and if they say it's unsafe we will not travel or organise further trips to North Korea. - Telegraph.

WATCH: North Korea holds mass rally supporting Kim's call to arms.