Tensions between South Korea and North Korea escalated Friday morning, less than 24 hours after the two countries exchanged shells over the Demilitarized Zone. After the shelling, North Korea threatened to raise the bar with full military action and its leader, Kim Jong Un, ordered troops to be ready for war.
Kim ordered a so-called "quasi-state of war." He is conducting emergency meetings with the central military commission and has sent chief commanders to the front lines to be with the troops and prepare for a war with the south if necessary. "Commanders of the Korean People's Army were hastily dispatched to the front-line troops to command military operations to destroy psychological warfare tools if the enemy does not stop the propaganda broadcast within 48 hours and prepare against the enemy's possible counteractions," North Korea's central television network reported, according to Yonhap News Agency.
Things have been tense this month following the detonation of land mines along the heavily fortified border between the two countries that maimed two South Korean soldiers. South Korea has repeatedly complained about the incident and has written a letter to the United Nations condemning the mines. South Korea has been broadcasting anti-North Korea propaganda. North Korea has threatened to blow up the speakers.
American and South Korean soldiers began their yearly military preparedness drilling Monday, which has added to concerns. There are about 80,000 soldiers involved and the stated goal is to prepare South Korea for a war with North Korea. Kim and his country have called the preparations "little short of a declaration of war."