Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Press TV

North Korea 'in state of war with South'

Iran Press TV

Sat Mar 30, 2013 5:52PM GMT

North Korea has declared it is in a "state of war" with South Korea, warning that any provocation by Seoul and Washington will trigger an all-out nuclear war.

In a statement carried by KCNA on Saturday, Pyongyang said henceforth "the North-South relations will be entering a state of war and all issues raised between the North and the South will be handled accordingly.'

'The long-standing situation of the Korean peninsula being neither at peace nor at war is finally over,' said the statement issued jointly by the government, political parties and other organizations.

Pyongyang also warned that if Washington and Seoul launched a preemptive attack, the conflict 'will not be limited to a local war, but develop into an all-out war, a nuclear war.'

The two Koreas have been technically in a state of war for the past six decades, as their 1950-53 war ended with an armistice rather than a peace treaty.

The US government has reacted to the North Korean warning, calling it 'unconstructive' while taking it "seriously."

'North Korea has a long history of bellicose rhetoric and threats,' National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said.

Hayden stressed that Washington would continue to "take additional measures against the North Korean threat, including our plan to increase the US ground-based interceptors and early warning and tracking radar, and the signing of the ROK-US counter-provocation plan.'

On Thursday, the US sent two nuclear-capable B2 stealth bombers over South Korea to conduct a "deterrence" mission in a military drill.

The move, however, led the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to order the country's rocket units on standby. He said the forces should 'mercilessly strike" the US mainland and military bases "in the Pacific, including Hawaii and Guam, and those in South Korea.'

MR/AS/SAB/HGH/SL



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