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Pyongyang puts troops in combat readiness, imposes emergency regime along demarcation line

August 21, 2015, 13:57 UTC+3 BEIJING

North and South Korea on Thursday exchanged fire at their border

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© AP Photo/Dita Alangkara

BEIJING, August 21. /TASS/. North Korea’s top military commanders ordered front-line troops to have full combat readiness starting today at 5pm local time, Pyongyang’s Ambassador to China Ji Jae Ryong said on Friday.

Emergency regime is also introduced in the area along the Military Demarcation Line, he added.

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, 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. "The exchange of artillery fire across the military demarcation line between North Korea and South Korea arises concern," Foreign Ministry official spokesperson Maria Zakharova noted. "We have to draw attention to a general tendency of deteriorating conditions on the Korean Peninsula," she stressed.

"We think that in current circumstances, all sides should demonstrate utmost restraint, refrain from any actions that can aggravate the situation, especially avoiding actions with the use of firearms," Zakharova noted.

The current situation "clearly demonstrates that solution of peninsula’s problems should be found in the context of general military and political detente in North-Eastern Asia, reduction of accumulated confrontational potential in the region," she concluded.

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