North Korea said Saturday the Korean Peninsula was entering “a state of war” and threatened to shut down a border factory complex that’s the last major symbol of inter-Korean cooperation.
A day after it put its missiles on standby to strike US bases in South Korea and the Pacific, the North said it would deal with the South according to “wartime regulations” and retaliate against any provocation without notice.
Analysts say a full-scale conflict is extremely unlikely, since the Peninsula has remained in a technical state of war for 60 years. But Pyongyang’s continued threats towards Seoul and Washington have raised worries that a misjudgement between the sides could lead to a clash.
The North’s threats are seen as efforts to provoke the new government in Seoul to change its policies towards Pyongyang, win diplomatic talks with the US that could get it more aid and build domestic unity as young leader Kim Jong-Un strengthens his military credentials.