North Korea Declares State of War with SouthWorld | March 30, 2013, Saturday // 10:21| views
North Korea's most advanced missiles are thought to be able to reach Alaska, but not the rest of the US mainland. Map by BBC
North Korea has announced Saturday it was entering a "State of War" with South Korea, promising "stern physical actions" against "any provocative act."
BBC reminds North Korea has threatened attacks almost daily after it was sanctioned for a third nuclear test in February.
However, few analysts and experts think the North would risk full-blown conflict, which could turn suicidal for it, and the two sides have technically been at war since 1953 as no peace treaty has been signed.
North Korea carried out its third nuclear test on 12 February, which led to the imposition of fresh sanctions.
The annual US-South Korean military exercises have also taken place, angering Pyongyang further and escalating to the declaration of war against the South.
A North Korean statement released Saturday, quoted by BBC, says: "From this time on, the North-South relations will be entering the State of War and all issues between the North and the South will be handled accordingly. The long-standing situation of the Korean peninsula being neither at peace nor at war is finally over."
In Washington DC, Caitlin Hayden, a spokeswoman for the National Security Council, has said the US "takes these threats seriously and remains in close contact with its South Korean allies."
North Korea has made multiple threats against both the US and South Korea in recent weeks, including warning of a "pre-emptive nuclear strike" on the US and the scrapping of the Korean War armistice.
On Thursday, North Korean state media reported leader Kim Jong-un "judged the time has come to settle accounts with the US imperialists."
He was said to have condemned US B-2 bomber sorties over South Korea during military exercises as a "reckless phase" that represented an "ultimatum that they will ignite a nuclear war at any cost on the Korean Peninsula."
US mainland and bases in Hawaii, Guam and South Korea were all named as potential targets.
North Korea's most advanced missiles are thought to be able to reach Alaska, but not the rest of the US mainland.
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