August 2015 – SOUTH KOREA – North and South Korea appeared on the verge of war on Friday night after Kim Jong-un issued an ultimatum to Seoul to halt anti-Pyongyang propaganda broadcasts by Saturday afternoon or face military action. Pyongyang ordered its military to full combat readiness as Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader, declared a “quasi-state of war” after an exchange of gunfire across the border on Thursday.
The North also issued a 48-hour ultimatum to Seoul, announcing that it would conduct “military operations to destroy” the loudspeakers being used to broadcast propaganda across the border into North Korea. Seoul has until 5pm on Saturday (10am GMT) to comply. Monitoring of the North’s weapons indicate that a mobile Scud-C launcher is on the move close to Wonsan, situated on the east coast and about 60 miles north of the Demilitarized Zone that separates the two countries. The missile has a range of more than 300 miles. The second missile identified by radar operated by South Korean and US forces is a Rodong. The weapon is operating in North Pyongan Province, on the north-west border with China and has an operational range of nearly 750 miles.
“It seems [North Korea] is weighing the timing of firing the weapons as part of its strategic intention to increase military tension on the Korean peninsula to the highest level,” a government source told Yonhap news. South Korea has responded by putting its own forces on the highest level of alert. Park Gueh-hye, the South Korean president, has ordered the military to retaliate forcefully against any provocations from the North. “We can never tolerate any North Korean provocations that could endanger the safety of our soldiers and people,” said Mrs Park, who wore combat fatigues during an unannounced visit to the headquarters of the Third Army near Seoul.
While clashes and confrontations are a frequent occurrence on the border between the two nations, analysts suggest the situation is on this occasion more critical. “Nobody knows what will happen when the deadline expires, but I get the feeling that this situation is more grave than previously,” Rah Jong-yil, a former head of South Korean intelligence, told The Telegraph. “There is a joint US-South Korean military exercise going on at the moment and, from my own experience, North Korea used to adopt a defensive posture on these occasions,” he said. “But now they are on the offensive, and that is disturbing to me. “There are countless ways in which the North can militarily provoke the South and the US, while we have no choice but to remain on the defensive. “North Korea can choose the time, the place and the method by which they can provoke us, and all we can do is to remain watchful.” –Telegraph
SEOUL – Aug. 23, 2015 – More than 50 North Korean submarines are apparently away from their bases for operations, a sign that the North is gearing up for combat while participating in high-level talks aimed at easing tension, an official here said Sunday. “Seventy percent of North Korea’s submarines left their bases, and their locations are not confirmed,” the South Korean military official told reporters. RT News also reports North Korea has doubled its artillery deployment in anticipation of a possible confrontation with South Korea.
The North is known to have around 70 submarines. The unpredictable communist nation has also doubled the number of its artillery troops on the border, with the command to be combat ready, according to the official. Top government officials from the two Koreas were supposed to resume their talks at the truce village of Panmunjom at 3 p.m. Sunday. It has not been confirmed yet whether they began the meeting as scheduled. –Yonhap News