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North Korean leader declares "quasi-state of war" amid rising tensions with South

August 21, 2015, 8:30 UTC+3 TOKYO

North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un has ordered the army to prepare for war operations against South Korea

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© AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon

TOKYO, August 21. /TASS/. North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un has proclaimed a "quasi-state of war" in frontline areas as tensions are escalating with South Korea, Japan’s Kyodo news network cited Pyongyang's official media as reporting.

On Thursday night, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) convened an emergency meeting of the central military commission of the ruling party following South Korea’s statement that the two countries exchanged fire at their western border, according to the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

KCNA said Kim, who led the meeting, ordered the army to prepare for war operations against South Korea.

The North Korean army has shelled on Thursday the positions of the South Korean military in the western part of the Demilitarized Zone where loudspeakers used by Seoul in its propaganda campaign against Pyongyang are located. The incident occurred at about 4pm local time (10am Moscow time). The South Korean military opened reprisal fire on the alleged source of the artillery bombardments. The South Korean Ministry of National Defense has confirmed the information about the incident.

Russia has called on Seoul and Pyongyang to demonstrate utmost restraint and avoid actions with use of firearms.

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