Pyongyang threatens ‘sea of fire’

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Pyongyang threatens ‘sea of fire’

The South Korean military beefed up security alerts yesterday, a day after North Korea again threatened to turn the South into a “sea of fire.”

The threat - which has been heard before in Pyongyang’s hostile rhetoric - followed South Korea’s installation of 11 loudspeakers along the military border.

The installation is the first step in a plan that may see the resumption of radio propaganda broadcasts for the first time since 2004.

The North’s Korean Central News Agency said on Saturday “the attempt to resume the psychological warfare” is tantamount to a “full-out war declaration,” that will bring about “military attacks on all battle fronts.”

“Our military attack will not be a proportional one-on-one response but a merciless attack that can involve turning Seoul into a sea of fire,” the North’s state mouthpiece said.

A South Korean military official who asked for anonymity, however, said, “We haven’t found any unusual movements so far. But we are operating more surveillance equipment through the military border and putting in more officers for border monitoring.”

Pyongyang has not threatened a “sea of fire” since North Korean senior official Park Young-soo used the phrase during inter-Korean talks in 1994, unnerving many South Koreans who were relatively immune to hostile rhetoric from the North.

Military tensions between the Koreas have escalated since the Cheonan warship was destroyed by a torpedo on March 26, killing 46 Navy sailors. A multinational investigation has concluded the North was behind the attack.

By Jung Ha-won []
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