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North Korea on attack mode

North Korea put its armed forces on standby for war on Monday and threatened retaliation against anyone seeking to stop the regime from launching a satellite into space in the latest barrage of threats from the communist regime.

world Updated: Mar 09, 2009 23:35 IST

North Korea put its armed forces on standby for war on Monday and threatened retaliation against anyone seeking to stop the regime from launching a satellite into space in the latest barrage of threats from the communist regime.

Pyongyang also cut off a military hot-line with the South, causing a complete shutdown of their border and stranding hundreds of South Koreans working in an industrial zone in the North Korean border city of Kaesong.

Monday’s warning came as US and South Korean troops kicked off annual war games across the South, exercises the North has condemned as preparation for an invasion.

The N. Korea also indicated it was pushing ahead with plans to fire a communications satellite into space — a provocative launch neighboring governments believe could be a cover for a missile test. US and Japanese officials have suggested they could shoot down a N. Korean missile if necessary, further incensing Pyongyang. “Shooting our satellite for peaceful purposes will precisely mean a war,” the North’s military said in a statement on Monday.