North Korea Under Martial Law: Troops Told ‘Be Ready For War’

North Korea has reportedly been placed under martial law and troops are being told to “prepare for war.” The details have emerged from a meeting held Saturday including Kim Jong-un and his top security and defense officials.

The meeting was held in preparation for a nuclear test that has drawn criticism world wide. The expected test will be North Korea’s third nuclear test. It is anticipated that the test will occur sometime between February 16, birthday of former leader Kim Jong-il, and February 25, the inauguration in South Korea.

As reported by The Telegraph, North Korea was previously placed under martial law at a time of unrest:

“In March 1993, North Korea placed the nation under martial law shortly before it announced it was withdrawing from the Treaty in the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. The regime also ordered its troops to be ready for war.”

A North Korean rocket launch in December prompted the UN Security Council to impose sanctions. In response, North Korean leaders proclaimed that they would continue development of nuclear weapons and withdrew from discussion of discontinuing the program.

In Saturday’s meeting Kim Jong-un declared that North Korea be placed under martial law in preparation for the nuclear test, and told his troops to prepare for war. As reported by Yahoo News, Kim Jong-un’s declaration of martial law was effective immediately:

“The country will be under martial law starting from midnight on Jan 29, and all the frontline and central units should be ready for a war.”

South Korean President Lee Myung-bak has reportedly commanded his military to be prepared for a “strong response” against the North Korean troops who are reportedly preparing for war.