North Korea is cutting its military hotline with South Korea, the final official communications channel between the two countries – saying “war could break out at any time”.
Pyongyang’s anger at the international community, particularly the US, has escalated in recent weeks. The regime was slapped with increased UN sanctions after its February 12 nuclear test. Also, the US has been conducting joint military drills with South Korea.
Pyongyang resident So Chol Gyun told reporters: “My heart is burning with vengeful thoughts. Such provocation can no longer be allowed. I am ready to take part in a great war of justice to reduce the US mainland to ashes.”
“They insulted the dignity of our supreme leadership. It may be their calculation that such a scheme will deal a mental strike at us,” another resident, Kim Ok Song, said.
South Korea’s government warned the North to abandon its nuclear ambitions and focus on looking after its “impoverished people”.
Few believe that Pyongyang would risk starting an all-out war, but Washington has said that it is prepared for “any contingency”.