North Korea officially in a ‘state of war’ with South Korea
North Korea announced Friday that relations with South Korea are in a “state of war”, following the surge in tensions between the two countries and sanctions by the United Nations Security Council.
“From now, North-South relations will enter a state of war and matters arising between North and South will be treated accordingly,” communicated the regime at Pyongyang, during a special announcement issued through he state news agency.
In his usual bellicose tone North Korean media published what it said to be a statement from Kim Jong-un, who ordered to set up missiles to strike at “any time” U.S. interests in the region as well as South Korea itself.
In this new announcement, North Korea said that “the situation in which there is neither war nor peace of the Korean peninsula is over.”
The two Koreas have remained technically at war since the end of the conflict that faced them between 1950-1953 and ended with a ceasefire, after which an armistice was signed to avoid further conflict.
The statement published by North Korea also warned of “major combat” beyond the region if South Korea and the U.S. continued their military operations in the demilitarized zone between the two Koreas. According to KCNA, the special announcement was issued today by the Workers’ Party, ministers and other institutions.
These ads are part of the campaign of threats directed by Pyongyang that directly threaten South Korea and the U.S.. The announcements began last March 7 after the UN approved sanctions against the communist country for running nuclear test in February.
In such sanctions, China, the main ally of North Korea, backed and supported the penalties against Pyongyang, a move that analysts say has deepened the isolation and inability to anticipate North Korea’s unexpected response. This week North Korea announced the suspension of the only line of military communication it had with South Korea and managed access to the Kaesong industrial complex amid escalating tension between the two countries.
The White House licks its fingers and responds
As it was expected, the White House in Washington did not take long to respond to North Korea’s declaration of war. In a statement published Friday, the US government says that the threats are taken ”seriously”. The White House “is serious about these threats and remains in close contact with the South Korean allies,” said the National Security Council’s spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden.
The White House has made it clear in other opportunities that it has the will and the ability to protect the so-called interests of the United States in the region against threats from North Korea. The United States has military bases in the South Pacific region. U.S. President Barack Obama showed his intention to attack North Korea as he responded to questions from the press this week. In fact, the US is now conducting military exercises with South Korea. “This should be proof enough clear to the international community and the North Koreans that we have the ability and willingness to protect our interests in the region.”
The new Secretary of Defense of the United States, Chuck Hagel, has said that “the very provocative and belligerent actions and tone from North Korea increase the danger of more conflict.” Hagel also defended the decision earlier this month to increase defenses against missile threats from the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. He insisted that the Pentagon had not exaggerated in its reaction. “You just need to go wrong once,” said the Secretary of Defense.
The White House reiterated that the “war rhetoric” from North Korea “only deepens the isolation” of that country and that its aim is to resolve current tensions “in a peaceful manner.” “The road to peace is clear to the North Koreans.” The White House has said that Pyongyang must stop its nuclear program, comply with its international obligations and stop its “war rhetoric”.
Russia to the rescue
Today Russia has called both the Koreas as the U.S. to exercise ”maximum restraint and responsibility” in the escalation launched by the Pyongyang regime in recent weeks and that has culminated with the statement that North Korea had entered into a “state of war” with its southern neighbor.
The latest threat of the communist regime of Kim Jong-un follows a series of measures taken in recent weeks, as the placement of missiles in the direction of U.S. bases in the Pacific and cutting military communications with Seoul.
“We hope the two sides exercise maximum restraint and responsibility and that no one exceeds the point of no return,” said Grigory Logvinov, the Russian Foreign senior official in charge of Korean peninsula.
The last movement of Pyongyang does not awaken too many alarms in South Korea, which estimates that “there is not a new threat.”
Not surprisingly, the two Koreas are still technically at war since the end of the Korean conflict in 1953. The South Korean Defense Ministry has merely said his country will repress ”any provocation.”