PYONGYANG, August 21 /TASS/. The people and army of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) are ready for a full-scale war against South Korea to defend a political system they have chosen, the DPRK’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement distributed by the Korean Central News Agency on Friday.
"Our armed forces and our people are ready not only for self-defense and retaliation. They are ready to give their lives to defend their social system in a full-scale war," the Foreign Ministry said.
The situation on the Korean peninsula aggravated seriously last Thursday after the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (also known as North Korea) has exchanged fire with South Korea in the western part of the Korean Demilitarized Zone. According to the South Korean side, the North fired the first shots. The target was the loudspeakers, which South Korea is using in its propaganda campaign against Pyongyang. North Korea denies firing first.
The General Staff of the Korean People’s Army gave South Korea 48 hours to dismantle the loudspeakers and threatened to start combat operations if South Korea refused to remove them. The ultimatum expires at around 17:00 local time (11:00 Moscow time) on August 22.
North Korean Ambassador to Moscow Kim Hyun Joong on Friday explained Pyongyang’s official stance on a mine explosion that occurred in the Korean Demilitarized Zone on August 4.
The diplomat described the situation around the DPRK as explosive.
"The US and South Korean provocations made in recent days have brought the situation on the Korean peninsula to the brink of war," the North Korean diplomat said.
"A very suspicious incident - a mine explosion - took place in the western part of the Korean Demilitarized Zone on August 4. The demilitarized zone along the demarcation line is a sheer minefield. That is why explosions can occur due to rains and fires. Natural disasters have recently caused simultaneous explosions of 140 mines," Kim Hyun Joong stressed.
The ambassador described the mine explosion incident as a deliberate show on the part of Seoul. "We have very strong armed forces and we are not going to use such primitive means as mines to punish South Korea if we want," the North Korean diplomat said.