North Korea in ‘State of War’ With South Korea

Rhetoric Continues to Worsen on Both Sides

Following weeks of tit-for-tat ratcheting up of rhetoric, North Korea said earlier that they believe war is “probably only hours away,” and followed that by saying that a state of war exists with the US and South Korea, adding that their military commanders are holding “emergency” meetings to prepare for a conflict with the US.

North Korean officials issued a statement saying that the “provocations” of US nuclear bomber overflights were no longer tolerable, and that there was no point in pretending that a state of “neither war nor peace” could be maintained on the Korean Peninsula.

North Korea’s military has threatened attacks on the American mainland, with a photo released in the state newspaper conspicuously including a chart labeling “plan to hit the mainland of the US.” They aren’t believed to even have the capability of doing that.

US officials are shrugging this all off as “bluster,” and they insist the blame for spiraling tensions is entirely on the side of North Korea. They insist the simulated nuclear weapons bombing runs are just “defensive” in nature.

Both sides seem contented to issue new statements daily, if not hourly, insisting that something or other has forced them to raise the level of alert of their forces. North Korea, which already claimed the “highest” level of readiness weeks ago, claimed to have found an even higher level yet yesterday to ratchet things up to.

Now they’ve reached the point of saying a state of war exists, which it technically has for decades since there was never a deal to end the last Korean War. So far neither side seems to be doing any actual fighting, but with the rhetoric seemingly hitting its limit, the risk is going to continue to grow dramatically until some sort of understanding is reached.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of