North Korea threatens 'all-out war, a nuclear war' as it announces it is 'on war footing' with South

Kim Jong-un warns of 'an all-out war, a nuclear war'

North Korea has declared that it is entering a “state of war” with South Korea today, according to its official news agency.

The nation's leadership also warned any skirmish will "develop into an all-out war, a nuclear war."

The North Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) made the announcement in the early hours of this morning, after a joint statement by the North Korean government, ruling party and other organisations.

"From this time on, the North-South relations will be entering the state of war and all issues raised between the North and the South will be handled accordingly”, the KCNA announced.

"The long-standing situation of the Korean peninsula being neither at peace nor at war is finally over.”

"Now that the revolutionary armed forces of the DPRK (Democratic People's Republic of Korea) have entered into an actual military action, the inter-Korean relations have naturally entered the state of war."

Provocations "will not be limited to a local war, but develop into an all-out war, a nuclear war," the statement said.

Hours after the statement, Pyongyang threatened to shut down the jointly run Kaesong industrial park, angered by reports that the complex remained open because it was a source of hard currency for the impoverished North.

"If the puppet group seeks to tarnish the image of the DPRK even a bit, while speaking of the zone whose operation has been barely maintained, we will shut down the zone without mercy," an identified spokesman for the North's office controlling Kaesong said in comments carried by KCNA.

South Korea's Unification Ministry, whose aim is the reunification of the fractured peninsula, responded by calling the North Korean threat "unhelpful" to the countries' already frayed relations and vowed to ensure the safety of hundreds of South Korean managers who cross the border to their jobs in Kaesong.

South Korean Defense Ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok said the country's military remains mindful of the possibility that increasing North Korean drills near the border could lead to an actual provocation.

He said: "The series of North Korean threats — announcing all-out war, scrapping the cease-fire agreement and the non-aggression agreement between the South and the North, cutting the military hotline, entering into combat posture No. 1 and entering a 'state of war' — are unacceptable and harm the peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula."

"We are maintaining full military readiness in order to protect our people's lives and security."

The announcement came amid growing concerns regarding North Korea’s increasingly aggressive attitude.

Just yesterday the nation’s leader, Kim Jong-un, publicly ordered that missiles be prepared to strike at targets, including the United States mainland.

Meanwhile, a holiday tour operator from Wigan said yesterday that he had received an email warning him and his clients to stay out of North Korea.

Dylan Harris, 34, said that the email warned the situation had become “critical, with the outbreak of war probably only hours away".

Despite North Korea’s increasingly hostile behaviour, few people believe that the country would risk starting an all-out war.

Analysts say the threats are instead aimed at drawing Washington into talks that could result in aid and boosting leader Kim Jong-un's image at home.

Technically, North Korea and South Korea have been at war for the last sixty years, as the 1950-53 Korean War ended with an armistice rather than a formal peace treaty.

However, earlier this month, North Korea said that it would no longer be bound by the truce, in protest again South Korea’s engagement in joint military exercises with the United States.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Clinical Lead / RGN

£40000 - £42000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: IT Sales Consultant

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT support company has a n...

Recruitment Genius: Works Engineer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A works engineer is required in a progressive ...

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Hire Manager - Tool Hire

£21000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client is seeking someone w...

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent
Markus Persson: If being that rich is so bad, why not just give it all away?

That's a bit rich

The billionaire inventor of computer game Minecraft says he is bored, lonely and isolated by his vast wealth. If it’s that bad, says Simon Kelner, why not just give it all away?
Euro 2016: Chris Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Wales last qualified for major tournament in 1958 but after several near misses the current crop can book place at Euro 2016 and end all the indifference