North Korean leader Kim Jong-il has told his military it may have to go to war but only if the South attacks first, according to a South Korea-based group that monitors the hermit state.
An earlier report by the South’s Yonhap news agency that Kim had told his troops to get ready for combat hit already nervous Seoul financial markets, with the main share index dropping more than three per cent. The won also fell sharply.
However, the group of North Korean defectors’ website (www.nkis.kr) said the broadcast was made on May 20, before the South announced a series of measures to punish its neighbour for sinking one of its warships in March, killing 46 sailors. “We do not hope for war but if South Korea, with the US and Japan on its back, tries to attack us, Kim Jong-il has ordered us to finish the task of unification left undone during the ... (Korean) war,” it quoted the broadcast as saying.
‘No trade with North’
Meanwhile, Seoul announced it would ban all trade with the North over the sinking and stop its commercial ships using South Korean waters.