North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has given South Korea a Saturday evening deadline to end propaganda transmissions across the border or face military consequences, a dramatic escalation of the simmering tensions between the two countries that has even U.S. officials expressing concern.
The 5 p.m. local deadline, or 4:30 a.m. EDT, comes after artillery fire across the Demilitarized Zone that separates the two countries and a belligerent directive from Kim that his troops "enter a wartime state to be fully battle ready to launch surprise operations."
The tensions began when South Korea took up broadcasting propaganda messages from massive speakers on its side of the border after two of its soldiers were injured on Aug. 4 by landmines believed to have been planted in the Demilitarized Zone by North Korea. That country denies responsibility, and strongly objects to the broadcasts – which had once been routine but were discontinued more than 10 years ago. After the broadcasts resumed, North Korea fired artillery shells into South Korea on Thursday. South Korea responded in kind, and no casualties were reported.
Read the full article at U.S. News & World Report.