Tensions between North Korea and South Korea are once again escalating to the point that the soldiers of North Korea have been put on their highest alert. North Korea has set an ultimatum for Saturday that says South Korea must stop broadcasting propaganda messages across the border. The increased tension between North Korea and South Korea led to a short exchange of military artillery fire between the divided nations. The government in China has voiced concern and is asking both nations to not escalate into a full-blown war.
According the North Korean Foreign Ministry, the military and their people are fully prepared to fight a war with South Korea if they do not cease their broadcasting by 5 p.m. Saturday. An Myong Hun, the ambassador for North Korea to the United Nations, states that North Korea is prepared for “strong military counter-action.”
South Korea has said they do not intend to comply with the ultimatum set forth by North Korea. On August 10, South Korea began broadcasting propaganda messages across the border into North Korea. This was the first time in over 10 years that the south has resorted to this action. The propaganda broadcasts were started up as a response to the deaths of two South Korean soldiers who were killed by landmines within the demilitarized zone. The North Korean response to these broadcasts was to broadcast their own propaganda and fired artillery shells into South Korea. South Korea retaliated with almost 30 rounds of artillery shells fired into North Korea.
Neither side is backing down. North Korea sees the actions of South Korea as an act of war. If the broadcasts are not stopped by the deadline, North Korean soldiers will be ready to attack. According to media reports from North Korea, “military commanders were urgently dispatched for operations to attack South Korean psychological warfare facilities if the South doesn’t stop operating them.” The vice defense minister in South Korea believes this means an attack will take place against the broadcasting towers in the south.
Currently, South Korea and the United States are engaged in their annual drill exercises that North Korea has condemned in the past.
North Korea has made threats against South Korea like this before. Luckily, cooler heads prevailed in the end and no further escalation has happened in the past. Many experts believe though that it is only a matter of time before North Korea actually follows through on the threats they have said they would carry out.
North Korea and South Korea are still technically at war, and have been since 1953. Will North Korea back down once more or will they finally follow through on their threats and start World War III?
[Image via Rt.com]