Retaliation to Kim Jong Un protests
Just days after the execution of one of the country’s formerly most powerful figures, North Korea have once again demonstrated their volatile state after threatening to strike South Korea ‘mercilessly without notice’.
On Thursday 19th December, the Northern country warned their near neighbours via a fax that if protests against the country’s ruling were not stopped there would be severe consequences.
It said that strikes would occur ‘[If] the provocation against our highest dignity (Kim Jong Un) is to be repeated in the downtown of Seoul’.
Earlier this week, on the second anniversary of the death of former North Korean leader, Kim Jong Il, conservative protesters rallied in Seoul, burning effigies of the country's leaders as well as its flag. Such protests are common during North Korean festivals and anniversaries.
Pyongyang, the capital city of North Korea, routinely threatens to retaliate after what it considers ‘provocations’ including protests or balloon launches to the north by South Korean groups.
There is no email communication between the two countries and no Cold War style military hotline between the two; only one fax machine used to contact each side of the border from Pyongyang to Seoul.
Earlier this year in March the final telephone link was shut down by the North, in response to joint military drills by the South and US.
In response to the latest threats, the South Korea's Ministry of National Defense issued a response statement, warning the North that they will retaliate.
“The reply was sent through wired message and in the fax message, we warned that if North Korea is to carry out provocation, we will firmly retaliate,” said Kim Min-Seok, the spokesman for South Korea's Ministry of National Defense.
He added that there have been no significant military movements in North Korea.
Relations between the Koreas have seesawed this year, verging on hostile earlier this year amid a nuclear test in February.
Less than a fortnight ago, the execution of Jang Song Thaek, an advisor and uncle of North Korea's current leader, Kim Jong Un, brought the country’s stability back into question by many countries around the world.