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North Korea Rushing Imminent War Preparations

Dictator Kim Jong-Un further raises tensions, orders army to prepare for battle. Kim: 'you don't advertise when you'll start war.'
By Ari Yashar
First Publish: 12/25/2013, 11:42 AM

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un
North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un
AFP file

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un further escalated tensions of war on Wednesday, putting his army on notice for imminent combat during an inspection of troops accompanied by North Korea's top 3 military leaders.

"We must greatly hurry preparations for battle, not forgetting that war is not the kind of thing that you advertise when you'll do it," said Kim, according to Japanese-language NHK News.

Kim's bellicose statements came while inspecting the Command of Large Combined Unit 526 on Christmas Eve, as reported by the state's official Korean Central News Agency.

The latest threats of war follow a fax by North Korea to its southern neighbor last Thursday, saying it would "attack it without mercy and without notice."

In response to the increasing tensions, South Korean President Park Geun-Hye on Tuesday visited a frontline army post, her first visit since taking office in February. There, Park called the situation "ominous" and demanded "watertight security readiness."

North Korea's aggressive stance has quickly grown since Kim had his uncle Jang Song-Taek executed in a rare public purge two weeks ago. The young dictator reportedly ordered the execution while he was drunk, according to reports.

Jang, who was married to the sister of the late Kim Jong-Il, played a key role establishing the leadership of the young Kim and was considered to be pulling the strings from behind the scene. The second anniversary of the death of Kim Jong-Il was held last Tuesday.

The preparations for war come as former NBA star Dennis Rodman is in North Korea training the national basketball team, in preparation for a planned exhibition against other former NBA players in January.

Rodman met Kim for the first time in January. At the time, Rodman told the North Korean dictator "you have a friend for life."

In late November the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reported that North Korea appears to be restarting its Yongbyon nuclear reactor, which was destroyed in 2008 as a confidence building measure.

The reports were confirmed Tuesday by a Johns Hopkins University report, which indicated "a more wide-ranging, extensive effort by North Korea to modernize and restart the Yongbyon complex dating back to 2009 than previously understood."

It was revealed in November that North Korea and Iran pledged to continue cooperation in developing nuclear missiles. 

The east Asian region is poised on the brink of potential war, as China's recently declared "air defense identification zone" triggered a standoff on land disputes between China, Japan and South Korea. During US Vice President Joe Biden's visit to the region, South Korea expressed its intentions to expand its own air zone. China is the prime backer of fellow communist North Korea.