North Korea imposes martial law, orders troops to ‘be ready for war’

North Korea armyNorth Korea has allegedly been placed under martial law and its ruler Kim Jong-un has ordered the army to “prepare for war”, a South Korean daily claims.

The North Korean leader issued a series of orders to his top defense and security officials on Saturday to conclude preparations for a new nuclear test, the Seoul based Korea JoongAng Daily alleges citing an unnamed source.

The source reportedly said that Kim Jong-un issued a secret order to “complete preparations for a nuclear weapons test <…>and carry it out soon”. 

According to the source, Kim Jong-un also said, “The country will be under martial law starting from midnight January 29th and all the frontline and central units should be ready for war.”

The source told the South Korean daily that the nuclear test could come earlier than expected. Other analysts have said it would likely be held on February 16th, the birthday of the former leader Kim Jong-il, who died in 2011.

Another suggestion as to the test’s timing included February 25th, the inauguration day of South Korean President-elect Park Geun-Hye, the Korea JoongAng Daily reported.

North Korean media also reported that Kim Jong-un told his top defense officials to take “effective, high-profile state measures” at a meeting on Saturday.

The alleged measures come amid a new spike in tensions caused by a new round of sanctions on North Korean entities and individuals, including travel bans and asset freezes, which were passed unanimously by the United Nations Security Council in December 2012.

The Security Council, including China, backed Resolution 2087, after Pyongyang carried out the launch of a long range rocket in December 2012.

North Korea tank

Pyongyang claimed it was for the peaceful launch of a satellite, but critics say it was a thinly veiled test-firing of an intercontinental ballistic missile.

Since the resolution was approved North Korea has issued a number of warnings, including a statement on the day it was implemented, that there will be “no more dialogue or denuclearization.”  It also threatened “all-out war” against Washington, which it said was its sworn enemy and blamed for leading the sanctions.

However, the source also said that Kim Jong-un is concerned about China’s reaction to a nuclear test.

“China is still useful to us. We need to be careful of the relationship with China,” Kim allegedly said at the meeting.

A South Korean government official told reporters Wednesday that satellite images had discovered increased activity and movement of equipment near the Punggye-ri nuclear test site in the northwest of the country and that the mouth of the test shaft had been sealed in readiness for a nuclear test.

According to the report in the Korea JoongAng Daily, the South Korean military, as of Tuesday, had not detected any movements in North Korea’s frontline units.

The President of South Korea, Lee Myung-bak, has ordered the military to make a “strong response” to any provocation from North Korea.
The last time North Korea was placed under martial law was in March 1993, just days before it withdrew from the Treaty for the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, and the regime also ordered its troops to be ready for war.

North Korea carried out its first nuclear test in October 2006 and conducted a second underground blast in May 2009.

There is also international concern about whether Pyongyang will use highly-enriched uranium to get better results in its third nuclear test. Previous tests used plutonium, were detonated underground, and had reportedly limited success.

North Korean soldiers attend an official ceremony at the Kim Il-Sung stadium in Pyongyang


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  1. Please, let this political unrest stop. We, are ONE WORLD! The power is in your hands. It does feel great to have power. Let us put this power and energy to good use! Let us DISARM, and drop the weapons. Let us walk together in the wake of this political storm!

  2. why America is involved in clashes between mostly every neighboring countries to each other. llike Palestine and Israel, North Korea and South Korea, India and Pakista..
    America who used mass destruction weapons in Japan destroying the country, if he has right to keep neuclear weapon then every country has right to keep for their self deterance,

    there sould be a new legislation that America must be de-waponised, its Nuclear weapons should be taken away and destroy them so that his role as TYRANT in the world should be removed.

    America the Enemy to the Peace of Worl.

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