North Korea told its troops to get ready on Friday after South Korea ignored an ultimatum to stop propaganda broadcasts. The North told the South it would take military action, forcing China to call both and urge them to step back. The two recently exchanged artillery fire for the first time since October of last year.
North Korea’s Foreign Ministry spoke to reporters and said the military and public are ready to fight a war to keep the regime safe. The North appears to have ignored the words from China telling them to stop.
North Korean officials said its military was not bluffing, and the North Korean ambassador to the United Nations made it clear that the country is ready to take military action if the broadcasts did not stop playing propaganda against the government.
He also told reporters that the North asked for a meeting with the United Nations to talk about the situation. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told the Koreas not to do anything that could worsen the tensions even more. No meeting has been held to discuss about the two.
South Korea ignored an ultimatum from the North telling them to stop playing the broadcasts or face military action by Saturday. The South, who began playing the anti North propaganda a few days ago, is doing it after two of its soldiers were seriously hurt by landmine explosions along the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ).
North Korea responded by playing its own broadcasts on Monday, but things took a turn for the worse yesterday as they fired four artillery shells at their rivals. The South immediately fired back 29 rounds. After the artillery display, the North accused the South of trying to come up with an excuse to fire at them.
The United States, which is currently doing military drills with the South, said it resumed its military exercises after the shelling. The annual exercise, which the North sees as a plan of invasion, will end next Friday. In the past, North Korea has shown its discontent with the drills by firing rockets to the sea.
South Korean officials said they expected the North to fire at their loudspeakers near the DMZ. The two had not played broadcasts since 2004 but relations between the two have gotten worse these last few months, to the point that they haven’t had serious talks in months.
China, which still supports North Korea, said it was concerned with the recent broadcasts and shelling. They asked both to stop and step back so that things could cool down once again.
The threats are nothing new between the two, since the Korean War, both have lost lives in clashes but they have always pulled back from an all out war. Many believe that tensions could cool off again but are still watching closely because there is always a chance for war.
Experts say this is a bad time for the North to start a war, since the United States is visiting the South and they have all the resources there.