Tensions are running high this morning as North Korea announces it’s stopping all communication with South Korea, including closing the border crossing at Panmunjom.
This comes after a fresh round of sanctions imposed by the United Nations following its nuclear tests two weeks ago.
The two countries, who are officially still in a state of war set up a hotline in 1971 that could be used in times of tension in the hope of preventing a return to hostilities.
KCNA the State news channel said the hotline, which has been severed several times before, “can no longer perform its mission due to the prevailing grave situation”.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is also reported to have visited front-line military units that were involved in the shelling of a South Korean island in 2010.
KCNA said he had urged the soldiers there to keep themselves ready to “annihilate the enemy” at any time, and reconfirmed so-called “enemy targets” on five islands in the West Sea.
Seoul’s defence ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok said that if the North were to carry out a nuclear attack on South Korea it would become “extinct from the Earth by the will of mankind”.
He also warned that in response to any provocation from the North, Seoul would “immediately” turn the US-South Korean military drills currently being conducted “into a punishment mode to respond to it as planned”.
The US, the main focus of North Korean ire, said it was capable of protecting itself and its allies from any attacks.
“One has to take what any government says seriously,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said of the nuclear threat.
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Contributed by Chris Carrington of The Daily Sheeple.
Chris Carrington is a writer, researcher and lecturer with a background in science, technology and environmental studies. Chris is an editor for The Daily Sheeple. Wake the flock up!