North Korea threatens to turn South Korea into a sea of fire

Thursday, November 24, 2011
By Paul Martin
November 24, 2011

SEOUL – After months of relatively eased tensions, the Korean Peninsula is again living up to its reputation as home to the world’s most anxious borders with new rhetorical provocations from Pyongyang. On Thursday, Kim Jong-il’s aggressive regime claimed it would turn Seoul’s presidential palace office into a “sea of fire,” according to a state-run media outlet in the North Korean capital. The verbal jousting came one day after South Korea conducted massive air and sea drills near a front-line island that was attacked by North Korea last year, resulting in the deaths of two marines and two construction workers. At precisely the same time as North Korea’s attack last Nov. 23 on a military garrison and fishing community on Yeonpyeong Island in the Yellow Sea, the South Korean military on Wednesday launched a large-scale exercise involving attack helicopters, multi-rocket launchers, artillery guns and a flotilla of ships. Seoul called the 2010 Yeonpyeong Island attack the first on a civilian area since the 1950-53 Korean War. In language similar to that used by the official Korean Central News Agency, North Korea threatened that a similar “sea of fire” will engulf Seoul’s presidential Blue House if the south again fires into North Korean territory. The north claims that the South Korean military fired into its waters last year, prompting November’s retaliatory attack. –LA Times excerpt

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