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North Korea orders troops on war footing

August 21, 2015 6:01 pm

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has ordered his frontline troops to be on a war footing, state media says, after an exchange of fire with South Korea across their heavily fortified border.

The KCNA report said Kim declared a “semi-state of war” at an emergency meeting late Thursday.

It threatened action unless Seoul ends its anti-Pyongyang border broadcasts.

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North Korea often uses fierce rhetoric when tensions rise and it has made similar declarations before.

The BBC’s South Korea correspondent Steve Evans said that, although this ritual of aggression often sees such language escalate to the firing of ammunition, this time the rhetoric is fiercer and artillery shells are now in use.

KCNA reported that Mr Kim had ordered that troops be “fully ready for any military operations at any time” from 5pm Friday local time (01.30 NZST), at the emergency meeting of the central military commission.

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