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North Korea declares ‘semi-state of war’ with South

05:17 PM | 21 Aug, 2015
North Korea declares ‘semi-state of war’ with South
SEOUL (Web Desk) - North Korean leader Kim Jong-un put his frontline troops on a war footing Friday to back up an ultimatum for South Korea to halt high-decibel propaganda broadcasts across the border.

The move came as military tensions on the divided Korean peninsula soared following a rare exchange of artillery fire on Thursday that put the South Korean army on maximum alert.

The KCNA report said Mr Kim declared a "semi-state of war" at an emergency meeting late Thursday.

It threatened action unless Seoul ends its anti-Pyongyang border broadcasts.

The North often uses fierce rhetoric when tensions rise and it has made similar declarations before.

KCNA reported that Mr Kim had ordered that troops be "fully ready for any military operations at any time" from 17:00 Friday local time (08:30 GMT), at the emergency meeting of the central military commission.

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South Korea's Vice Defence Minister Baek Seung-joo said that 11 sites with loudspeakers for the anti-Pyongyang broadcasts are likely to be targets.

South Korea's Yonhap news agency, citing a government source, said that North Korea appeared to be preparing to fire missiles.

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Technically, the two Koreas have been at war for the past 65 years, as the 1950-53 Korean conflict ended with a ceasefire that was never ratified by a formal peace treaty.

The North often conducts missile tests to show displeasure at South Korea, or in protest at US-South Korean military drills.

In 2004, South Korea and North Korea reached an agreement to dismantle their propaganda loudspeakers at the border.

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The broadcasts were part of a programme of psychological warfare, according to South Korean newspaper Korea Times, to deliver outside news so that North Korean soldiers and border-area residents could hear it.

On 10 August this year, South Korea restarted broadcasting in an apparent reaction to two South Korean soldiers being injured in a landmine explosion in the demilitarised zone that was blamed on the North.

Military authorities say days later the North also restarted its broadcasting of anti-South propaganda.

However, some reports said that the quality of the North Korean loudspeakers is so bad that it is difficult to understand what they are saying.

The South had previously threatened to restart broadcasts in 2010 but although the loudspeakers were reinstalled at that time, they were not put into use, with the South using FM broadcasts into the North instead.

The latest tensions come after North Korea fired a shell at South Korea's western border on Thursday, reportedly to protest against the South's propaganda broadcasts.

The South responded to the North's shelling with artillery fire, and ordered the evacuation of some of its residents on the border. There were no reported casualties.

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North Korea then warned the South that it would take military action unless border propaganda broadcasts were ended and broadcast facilities dismantled "within 48 hours".

However, in a separate letter Pyongyang said it was willing to resolve the issue even though it considered the broadcasts a declaration of war, South Korea's unification ministry said, according to Reuters.

South Korea and the US also began annual joint military exercises on Monday - they describe the drills as defensive, but North Korea calls them a rehearsal for invasion.

South Korean television broadcast images of President Park Geun-Hye wearing army fatigues as she addressed a meeting of top military commanders outside Seoul.

"Any provocations by North Korea will not be tolerated," Park told the gathering.

The United States urged Pyongyang to avoid any further escalation, with the Pentagon stressing it remained firmly committed to defending ally South Korea.

The writer is a member of the staff.

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Pakistani rupee rate against US Dollar, Euro, Pound, Riyal - Check 14 April forex rates

Pakistani currency remains unchanged against US dollar and other currencies in open market on April 14, 2024.

US Dollar rate in Pakistan

On Sunday, the US dollar was being quoted at 277.5 for buying and 280.5 for selling.

Euro was quoted at 299.95 for buying and 302.9 for selling while British Pound stands at 349.5 for buying, and 353 for selling.

UAE Dirham AED was at 75.45 and Saudi Riyal's new rates was at 73.30. 

Today’s currency exchange rates in Pakistan - 14 April 2024

Source: Forex Association of Pakistan. (last update 08:00 AM)
Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar USD 277.5 280.5
Euro EUR 299.95 302.9
UK Pound Sterling GBP 349.5 353
U.A.E Dirham AED 75.45
 
76.2
Saudi Riyal SAR 73.3 74.05
Australian Dollar AUD 182.7 184.5
Bahrain Dinar BHD 739.38 747.38
Canadian Dollar CAD 204 206.2
China Yuan CNY 38.45 38.85
Danish Krone DKK 40.45 40.85
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 35.57 35.92
Indian Rupee INR 3.33 3.44
Japanese Yen JPY 1.86
 
1.94
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 903.91 912.91
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 58.92 59.52
New Zealand Dollar NZD 167.63 169.63
Norwegians Krone NOK 25.38 25.68
Omani Riyal OMR 722.1 730.1
Qatari Riyal QAR 76.35 77.05
Singapore Dollar SGD 206 208
Swedish Korona SEK 25.72 26.02
Swiss Franc CHF 307.11 309.61
Thai Bhat THB 7.61 7.76

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