North Korean leader Kim Jong Un placed his military on high alert and declared a "quasi-state of war" in areas near the country's border with South Korea Friday. The action took place after North and South Korea exchanged artillery fire near the border.
The Korean Central News Agency reported that Mr. Kim said frontline groups would "enter a wartime state" starting at 5:00 p.m. local time Friday.
North Korea has made similar declarations in 2010 and 2013. The two Koreas are technically at war. The truce that ended the Korean War in the 1950s did not become a peace treaty.
North-South relations became strained
Tensions increased Thursday when North Korea fired artillery at South Korean military positions along the western border. The South responded by launching artillery rounds at the North. The artillery shells appeared to have fallen into the demilitarized zone, or DMZ, separating the two Koreas. Neither side reported damage or injuries.
North Korea's ambassador to China Ji Jae Ryong spoke to reporters late Friday in Beijing. He said "If the enemy ignores our warning it is inevitable that there will be action. Our army does not use empty words."
North-South relations became strained after South Korea accused the North of planting landmines that exploded this month near the border. Two South Korean soldiers were wounded. South Korea answered by restarting anti-North Korean broadcasts on loudspeakers near the border.
The North warned Thursday that it would take further military action if South Korea did not stop the broadcasts within 48 hours. South Korean officials have said the broadcasts would continue. And it has raised its military readiness alert to its highest level to indicate immediate danger, imminent attack or invasion.
Korea expert Daniel Pinkston is with the International Crisis Group in Seoul. He says neither side feels it can back down but neither side wants war either.
"I think that both sides want to avoid a high intensity conflict but nevertheless there's a possibility of miscalculation and inadvertent escalation."
US says 'provocative actions' increase tensions
The United States Thursday said it was watching the situation closely. State Department spokesman John Kirby said that "provocative actions" by the North only heighten tensions. He urged North Korea to refrain from actions and rhetoric that threaten peace and security in the area.
The latest tension also comes during annual joint military exercises that began Monday. North Korea condemns them as preparation for war. The exercises include South Korea, the U.S. and other allies including Britain, Canada and Australia.
Daniel Pinkston says having the multinational military presence on the Korean Peninsula might keep North Korea from acting but may also restrain South Korea.
There was an exchange of fire during which the gunman was wounded...
I'll still handle the frontline attack, the confrontation with Mace.
我还会继续负责第一线的进攻, 同梅斯交锋 。
The session was technically quorate.
The rebels may simply be using the truce to regroup their forces.
Most unions see privatisation as an inevitable prelude to job losses.
The government has said it was an inadvertent error.
He doesn't really mean that—he's just being deliberately provocative.
1.The artillery shells appeared to have fallen into the demilitarized zone, or DMZ, separating the two Koreas.
Most doctors appear to recognize homeopathy as a legitimate form of medicine.
2.He says neither side feels it can back down but neither side wants war either.
He had to back down on plans to backdate the tax changes.
3.He urged North Korea to refrain from actions and rhetoric that threaten peace and security in the area.
How shall I refrain from tears when we part?
朝鲜在2010年和2013年也做出过类似声明。朝韩两国理论上仍然处于战争状态 。20世纪50年代结束朝鲜战争的休战并未成为和平条约 。
周四，朝鲜炮击韩国西部边境沿线的军事设施，两国紧张局势升级。韩国回击，向朝鲜发射炮弹 。这些炮弹似乎都落入将朝韩两国隔离开来的非军事区内 。双方均未报告损失和伤亡情况 。
周五晚，朝鲜驻华大使池在龙(Ji Jae Ryong)在北京接受了记者采访。他说，“如果敌人无视我们的警告，那么采取行动就无可避免 。我军向来说到做到 。”
韩国指责朝鲜本月在边境附近埋设地雷导致爆炸，朝韩紧张关系加剧。两名韩国士兵在爆炸中受伤 。韩国在边境附近重启反朝广播高音喇叭作为回应 。
周四，朝鲜警告称，如果韩国48小时内未停止广播，朝方将会采取进一步军事行动。韩国官员称广播将会继续 。韩国也将军事警报提升到最高水平以预示迫在眉睫的危险，攻击或入侵 。
朝鲜专家丹尼尔·品克斯顿(Daniel Pinkston)就职于首尔国际危机研究所。他说，任何一方都觉得不能退缩，但是任何一方都不希望发生战争 。
周四，美国表示正密切关注事态发展。国务院发言人约翰·柯比(John Kirby)表示，朝鲜的这种挑衅行为只会加剧紧张关系 。他督促朝鲜采取克制态度，避免威胁地区和平与安全的言论 。
在最近的紧张关系中，韩国和美国周一开始年度联合军演。朝鲜谴责他们是在为战争做准备 。参加这次演习的国家有韩国、美国，以及包括英国、加拿大和澳大利亚在内的其他盟国 。