(VOA-Report, Brian Padden)
SEOUL— North Korea is warning the South to stop broadcasting anti-North propaganda across the border though loudspeakers by Saturday or face a strong military counter-action.
The North’s deputy U.N. ambassador, An Myong Hun, told reporters in New York the army does not make “empty talk.”
An said the broadcasts constituted “an open act of war” and that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has ordered troops near the demilitarized zone to enter a “quasi state of war.”
U.S. and South Korean troops have resumed joint military exercises after a highly unusual interruption.
A Pentagon official said Friday the maneuvers were suspended this week after an exchange of artillery fire between the North and South along the western end of the border dividing the two Koreas.
Tensions grew earlier this month when South Korea accused the North of planting landmines that exploded near the border two weeks ago, wounding two South Korean soldiers. North Korea is accusing the South of trying to provoke a war.
North and South Korea have technically been at war since 1950, when North Korean forces, backed by China and the Soviet Union, invaded the South, which was supported by the U.S. and many of its U.N. allies.
The two sides entered a cease-fire in 1953, but have never signed a formal peace treaty.
There have been frequent periods of high tension between the North and South over the past 60 years, but the new young North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has already earned a reputation for secretiveness and unpredictability. He has been known to react harshly to what he perceives as insults and disrespect.