North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has placed his military on high alert and declared a “quasi-state of war” in frontline areas Friday after North and South Korea exchanged artillery fire near the border. Seoul also has raised its military readiness to its highest level, suggesting imminent threat.
Following an emergency meeting of the North’s central military commission, Kim said frontline units would “enter a wartime state” starting at 5 p.m. local time Friday, according to the Korean Central News Agency.
Pyongyang has made similar declarations in the past, including during periods of heightened tension in 2010 and 2013. The two countries are technically already in a state of war because the truce that ended their 1950s conflict did not become a peace treaty.