A war of words has erupted between North and South Korea, with Pyongyang reviving an old threat to set “Seoul on fire,” or worse, while Seoul has warned its neighbor will “pay a price” for any military action taken.
North Korea slammed Seoul for talking “nonsense” about its decision to blow up a joint liaison office in the border town of Kaesong on Tuesday. It claimed South Korea was “brazen-faced” and had “no qualifications whatsoever” to accuse it of violating agreements when it had systematically done so, along with carrying out war exercises.
Pyongyang warned: “It can be the story of setting Seoul on fire that was raised long ago or more horrible threats,” the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reports. It was referring to an oft-used threat by North Korea to turn the South Korean capital into a “sea of fire,” which it first issued in 1994. It added that authorities in the South have to “take care of themselves just in case.”
“They have to control their tongues, bearing in mind that the explosion in the Kaesong Industrial Zone can be a prelude to the total catastrophe of the North-South relations.” it said.
South Korea’s military said on Wednesday that it will make sure North Korea “certainly pays the price” if it takes any military action. The statement followed Pyongyang’s announcement that it would redeploy troops to two inter-Korean areas, restore guard posts in the Demilitarized Zone between the two countries, and resume military exercises near the border.
It is the latest in a series of actions that have escalated tensions between the two countries after a brief period of hope, which ended with a failed second meeting between Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump over a dispute about easing US sanctions.
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