Tensions rise in Korean Peninsula. . . as Kim Jong Un rallies DPRK forces into state of war

KIM JONG UNPYONGYANG. – Top leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea Kim Jong Un (pictured right) yesterday ordered the country’s frontline combined forces to enter a state of war from 5pm (0830 GMT) , a day after the two Koreas accused each other of shelling the borders.

Kim made the order at an enlarged emergency meeting of the central military commission of the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea, according to the official KCNA news agency.

Kim also ordered the frontline forces to be well armed to cope with any possible operations at any time.

At the meeting, political and military counter-measures aiming to smash South Korea’s “military provocations” were discussed while the military’s combat plan of the frontline command was approved, according to the KCNA.

Commanding officers for the area’s military operations have been dispatched to the frontline in order to counter possible reactions from the South in case of operations to destroy the facilities for psychological warfare towards the DPRK if the propaganda broadcasts are not suspended within 48 hours, it said.

The meeting also discussed the issue of mobilising party and power organs, workers organisations, security organs and other facilities.

The state media stressed again the psychological warfare against the North is a severe military provocation that attempts to undermine the DPRK’s ideology and social system which are chosen by its people and guarded by the army.

“Psychological warfare against the DPRK is, in essence, an open act of war against it,” it said.

It said the leaflet-scattering operation against the DPRK “has gone beyond a tolerance limit”, and anti-DPRK broadcasting using loudspeakers at the border “is still going on day and night”.

The report said the South Korean military made “reckless military action” by shelling the DPRK under the excuses of retaliation for the DPRK shelling of the south side, which Pyongyang said was fabricated by Seoul, despite an ultimatum sent on Thursday from the General Staff of the Korean People’s Army to South Korean Defence Ministry, calling for stopping propaganda broadcasts and removal of related facilities.

South Korea’s military on Thursday fired 36 shells with 155mm in calibre towards the DPRK, which Seoul said had earlier launched artillery into the south side in the western border twice.

Meanwhile, South Korea’s top military officer yesterday warned the DPRK of “a harsh price” for any further provo- cations.

Defence Minister Han Min-koo issued a statement to the public, saying that if the DPRK causes any provocations on the excuse of propaganda broadcasts, the South Korean military will sternly and severely retaliate and make the DPRK pay a harsh price for the provocations.

Han said that South Korea and the United States, which have been maintaining close co-ordination, would deter any DPRK provocations.

Citing the mines blast and the shelling, Han said that those were criminal acts revealing the DPRK’s bellicosity, which were in violation of the armistice agreement and non-aggression treaty.

He added that propaganda broadcasts were an appropriate response to the DPRK’s landmine provocation, blaming the elevated tensions on the Korean Peninsula on the DPRK provocations. – Xinhua.