N.Korea declares 'state of war': LIVE UPDATES
Pyongyang also warned it would retaliate against any provocations by the US and South Korea without "any prior notice."
Russia has called for restraint from all sides involved.
16:21 GMT: A top North Korean decision-making body has
issued a statement saying that NK’s nuclear weapons are a
"treasure" that will not to be traded for "billions of
dollars." The statement, delivered through the official Korean
Central News Agency (KCNA), read that the country’s
"nuclear armed forces represent the nation's life, which can
never be abandoned as long as the imperialists and nuclear threats
exist on earth." North Korea’s nuclear weapons are “neither
a political bargaining chip nor a thing for economic dealings to be
presented to the place of dialogue or be put on the table of
negotiations aimed at forcing (Pyongyang) to disarm itself,"
the statement read. Speaking at the plenary meeting of the central
committee of the ruling Workers' Party, North Korean leader Kim
Jong-un warned that his country will continue launching
17:40 GMT: The decision by the US to deploy two nuclear-capable B-2 bombers to participate in joint military drills with South Korea forced Pyongyang to tighten its position in its long-term conflict with the United States, North Korea's State News Agency said in a report released on Saturday. The first-ever flying of a B-2 – built with "stealth" technology – over the territory of South Korea was "not only a show of force, but a declaration of intent from Washington to provoke a nuclear war at all costs on the Korean Peninsula,” the report read. The report continued that North Korea had consistently attempted to avoid conflict on the Korean Peninsula, but the United States was unwavering in its “hostile policy towards Pyongyang.”
16:12 GMT: Venezuela’s Interim President Nicolas Maduro has called for peace and reconciliation on the Korean Peninsula.
“We hope for Peace in the World. The threat on the Korean peninsula must be resolved with wisdom and diplomacy,” Cuba’s Latin American News Agency cites him as saying.
14:50 GMT: The UK Foreign Office has called on North Korea to cease its bellicose rhetoric following Pyongyang’s latest pronouncement.
"We have made clear to North Korea that its long-term interests will only be served by constructive engagement with the international community. These threatening statements will only seek to isolate it further. The armistice agreement has enabled the Korean peninsula to benefit from 60 years' peace. Maintaining it is in the best interests of all," the government said in a statement.
14:20 GMT: In the North Korean capital of Pyongyang, life
is continuing as usual despite the recently declared ‘state of
war,’ Itar-Tass news agency reports. There has been no observable
mobilization of military forces in the city, nor have there been
any changes in the troops deployed around foreign embassies. Shops
and restaurants have remained open, and there have been no
interruptions the city’s public transportation system.
12:49 GMT: France calls on North Korea to refrain from
more provocations against its neighbor.
"We are very worried about the state of things on the Korean
Peninsula," a foreign ministry spokesperson said. "We urge
North Korea to withhold from further provocations, follow its
international obligations including those with the UN, and start
negotiations as soon as possible."
NKorean propaganda mill serves up soft side of Kim apne.ws/112JH6h— Sam Kim 김혜성 (@samkim_ap) March 30, 2013
12:14 GMT: "I think there is always room for
miscalculation and things spiraling out of control," Sung-Youn
Lee, professor at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts
University told NBC News. "But he [Kim Jong-un] is following the
playbook set by his father and grandfather."
The Korean Peninsula’s ‘State of War’ on.wsj.com/109ZG0X— Korea Real Time (@KoreaRealTime) March 30, 2013
North Korea has entered a "state of war" with South Korea. This timeline shows how threats escalated since December: soa.li/ivT6CxQ— The Telegraph (@Telegraph) March 30, 2013
11:11 GMT: North Korea’s rhetoric has had little impact
on South Korean stocks – the main KOSPI (Korea Composite Stock
Price Index) gained 2.9 percent this week, its best performance in
six months, Bloomberg reports.
10:58 GMT: North Korea has threatened to shut down the Kaesong joint factory complex. A spokesperson for the Northern office that controls the industrial complex said the factory park on the shared border would be closed if South Korea continues to insult its neighbor's dignity. Pyongyang expressed anger over media reports that said the factory had remained open, as the facility is a source of wealth for the North. So far, business has been operating normally at Kaesong despite the rising animosity between the Koreas.
10:12 GMT: Moscow believes that Seoul and Washington have
both taken a measured response in light of the new threats from
"The situation is tense and dangerous, but there are some hopeful moments, the US and South Korea have reacted calmly and it means events have not yet spun out of control," a source in the Russian Foreign Ministry told Interfax.
"It is time for quiet diplomacy to find political solutions out of the crisis."
9:55 GMT: Speaking at a workshop for senior officials
from the government, the presidential office and the ruling Saenuri
Party, Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin said he does not rule out the
possibility of "armed provocation" from the North.
"If provoked, we will mobilize not only all of our military strength but also that of the US mainland and suppress [the North] in a single stroke," the minister was quoted as saying by participants of the workshop.
"Our military is maintaining full preparedness to leave no blind point in safeguarding the lives and safety of the people," the South Korean defense ministry said in a statement.
Despite the harsh threats, the North's army has made no unusual moves, a military source said.
9:48 GMT: North Korea said it would shut down its joint industrial zone with the South if Seoul continues to insult its integrity, North Korean news agency KCNA reported.
Best quote of day from KCNA: "A nuclear 'eagle' does not flutter its wings for 'defense.'" (React to USAF bomber flights over #ROK)— Steve Herman (@W7VOA) March 30, 2013
9:18 GMT: German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle has
warned against the escalation around the Korean Peninsula in an
interview with Bild.de newspaper. North Korea should stop playing
with fire and curb its nuclear program, he said, adding that the
situation in the region directly affects global security and
KCNA: "Nuclear war on the Korean Peninsula has become unavoidable."— Steve Herman (@W7VOA) March 30, 2013
8:46 GMT: The Russian Foreign Ministry calls on all sides
involved to act responsibly and be reserved after the latest round
of threats from the North Korean leadership. "We hope neither
side crosses the line that will become a point of no return," a
Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson told Interfax.
8:22 GMT: 33-year-old tutor Kang Tae-hwan told AP that South Koreans didn't seem "to be that nervous" because they had "previously experienced such rhetoric and threats from the North many times in the past."
7:57 GMT: The White House has dismissed allegations the
US has escalated tensions in Korea by its deployment of B-2 stealth
bombers. "It's clear that the escalation is taking place from
the North Koreans, based on their rhetoric and on their
actions," White House spokesperson Josh Earnest told
7:40 GMT: North Korean rocket units are reportedly on
standby to fire on US bases in the South Pacific. Los Angeles,
Washington, DC, and Austin, Texas, are singled out as main targets
on a map clearly visible in the background of a photo of a
gathering of North Korean military leaders. However,
international experts say it is doubtful that North Korean missiles
could reach any of those targets. Click for details and photos
7:22 GMT: RT infographics on North Korean strike
7:13 GMT: Anonymous hacktivists claim to have hacked a number of North Korean governmental sites. They have listed the following resources: http://www.airkoryo.com.kp/ http://www.naenara.com.kp/ http://www.korea-dpr.com/ http://www.friend.com.kp/ and http://www.uriminzokkiri.com
6:41 GMT: Rallies and meetings under the slogans
"Death to American Imperialists" and "It's time to Move
from Words to Deeds" are being held across North Korea in
support of Kim Jong-un's declaration of war on the South.
6:28 GMT: "As the US forces support the South with
their weapon detecting capability or B-2 stealth bomber, I do not
think war will break out," 81-year-old Seoul pensioner Han
Kyung-soo told AP. "If it breaks out, it means that the North
Korean regime will fall."
6:08 GMT: Despite the threats, border crossings by South
Koreans to and from the joint industrial complex in the North
Korean border city of Kaesong are proceeding normally. The complex,
where 123 South Korean companies run factories with cheap North
Korean labor, is a major source of hard currency for the communist
6:03 GMT: Australia condemns the threats by North Korea
on the South and says they are considering imposing more autonomous
sanctions on the nation.
5:49 GMT: "We have no indications at this point that it's anything more than warmongering rhetoric," CNN reports Pentagon reaction.
5:02 GMT: "We will first target and dissolve mainland
United States, Hawaii and Guam, and United States military based in
South Korea. And the (South Korean presidential office) will be
burned to the ground," the KCNA report said.
South Korea's Unification Ministry released a statement saying
the latest threat was not new, and was just a follow-up on Kim's
earlier order to put troops on high alert in response to the annual
US-South Korean military drills. Pyongyang sees those drills as
rehearsals for an invasion; the US and Seoul call them routine and
The warning came a day after North Korean leader Kim Jong-un put
strategic rocket units on standby, threatening to strike targets in
South Korea and the US, over the American deployment of two B-2
bombers in a training mission in South Korea.