‘Annihilate the enemy’: Kim Jong-un instructed his troops to ‘make the first gunfire’

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‘Annihilate the enemy’: Kim Jong-un tells North Koreans to prepare for ‘all-out war’ with South as China warns against escalation

Kim Jong-un addressed troops facing Yeonpyeong island, which North Korean artillery shelled in 2010, killing four people and injuring 19

Rob Williams

Friday, 8 March 2013

The North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has visited troops on the border with the South and has reportedly told them to “annihilate the enemy” as tensions continue to rise in the region.

Kim Jong-un addressed troops in coastal positions facing Yeonpyeong island, which North Korean artillery shelled in 2010, killing four people and injuring 19.

Kim Jong-un also instructed his troops to ‘make the first gunfire’ if tensions with South Korea boil over.

China, the North’s only major ally, said all sides of the dispute should continue to talk and avoid “further escalation”.

Pictured using binoculars to look towards the South, Kim Jong-Un talked to reporters and spoke to troops as the pariah state announced it has scrapped its non-aggression pacts with South Korea.

The move followed further fiery rhetoric over the imposing of new sanctions against the secretive regime.

The regime in North Korea is reportedly furious after the United Nations Security Council imposed new sanctions on Pyongyang for carrying out a third nuclear test in February.

In response to the new sanctions North Korea announced it was withdrawing from the armistice that has kept the peace on the peninsula since the end of the Korean War in 1953.

It also said the hotline that links the governments of the North and South would be curtailed.

The threats from North Korea are the latest in a string of angry attacks on South Korea and the US over sanctions and proposed joint military exercises.

The US criticised what it called the ‘extreme rhetoric’, but noted it was not unusual for North Korea to use such language.

Dr Virginie Grzelczyk, an expert in North Korea at Nottingham Trent University, said the threat from closing down communication with North Korea could be significant: “Refusing to talk with North Korea will most likely not end the cycle of escalation, and could lead to a potential military clash on the peninsula, with the first target being the South, a scenario quite reminiscent of the 2010 incidents that also tell us that civilian casualties are not out of the question.”

A spokesman for China’s foreign ministry told a news conference on Friday: “China and North Korea have normal country relations. At the same time, we also oppose North Korea’s conducting of nuclear tests.

“China calls on the relevant parties to be calm and exercise restraint and avoid taking any further action that would cause any further escalations.”


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