North Korea: The Korean Central News Agency ran an English language version of a "Special Statement." Highlights added by NightWatch.
"The government, political parties and organizations of the DPRK released the following special statement on Saturday: The moves of the U.S. imperialists to violate the sovereignty of the DPRK and encroach upon its supreme interests have entered an extremely grave phase…."
"The important decision made by him is the declaration of a do-or-die battle to provide an epochal occasion for putting an end to the history of the long-standing showdown with the U.S. and opening a new era…."
"They should clearly know that in the era of Marshal Kim Jong Un, the greatest-ever commander, all things are different from what they used to be in the past."
The hostile forces will clearly realize the iron will, matchless grit and extraordinary mettle of the brilliant commander of Mt. Paektu that the earth cannot exist without Songun Korea."
"Time has come to stage a do-or-die final battle."
"The government, political parties and organizations of the DPRK solemnly declare as follows reflecting the final decision made by Kim Jong Un at the operation meeting of the KPA Supreme Command and the unanimous will of all service personnel and people of the DPRK who are waiting for a final order from him."
"1. From this moment, the north-south relations will be put at the state of war and all the issues arousing between the north and the south will be dealt with according to the wartime regulations. "
"The state of neither peace nor war has ended on the Korean Peninsula."
"Now that the revolutionary armed forces of the DPRK have entered into an actual military action, the inter-Korean relations have naturally entered the state of war. "
"Accordingly, the DPRK will immediately punish any slightest provocation hurting its dignity and sovereignty with resolute and merciless physical actions without any prior notice."
"2. If the U.S. and the south Korean puppet group perpetrate a military provocation for igniting a war against the DPRK in any area including the five islands in the West Sea of Korea or in the area along the Military Demarcation Line, it will not be limited to a local war, but develop into an all-out war, a nuclear war. "
"It is self-evident that any military conflict on the Korean Peninsula is bound to lead to an all-out war, a nuclear war now that even U.S. nuclear strategic bombers in its military bases in the Pacific including Hawaii and Guam and in its mainland are flying into the sky above South Korea to participate in the madcap DPRK-targeted nuclear war moves. …"
"3. The DPRK will never miss the golden chance to win a final victory in a great war for national reunification."
"This war will not be a three day-war but it will be a blitz war through which the KPA will occupy all areas of South Korea including Jeju Island at one strike, not giving the U.S. and the puppet warmongers time to come to their senses, and a three-dimensional war to be fought in the air, land and seas and on the front line and in the rear."
Comments on the statement: This statement was issued by civilian authorities and appears to be a complement to yesterday's statement by the Supreme Command. The tone is frenzied. The content is exaggerated and the accusations are simply false.
The assertion that issues will be handled according to wartime regulations makes no sense, unless it means under a flag of truce, which the North Korean leaders eliminated earlier this month.
There follows the circular reasoning that the civil authorities naturally are following unspecified wartime regulations "naturally" because the armed forces have taken actual military action. This sentence seems almost apologetic.
It also confuses preparations for military action and training with real military action, as most nations understand the term. However, even the North Korean generals know that no actual military action has taken place, except in the lexicon of North Korean propagandists, at their worst.
As with all prior statements, special or not, the North continues to talk about retaliation. The language in this special statement more clearly than the other announcements contains an implied invitation, if not an implied plea, for the South to start a provocation so Kim can show he is doing something different. Doing something different is almost an obsession in the backdrop of all the actions since mid-February.
The North wants the US and the South to fire the first shot. Item 2 specifies what looks like the preferred theater for the provocation. Artillery practice from the South Korean-held Offshore Islands will lead to general war. The threat of annihilation is always conditioned on a provocation started by the Allies. The so-called brilliant commander does not know how to walk back from full combat readiness and probably is afraid to do so with nothing to show for it but huge expense and wasted resources.
General comment: The septuagenarian vice marshals and generals who control the armed forces might see this as their last chance to win the Korean War before they die. But they are afraid to fire the first shot.
The North is running out of superlatives, imagination and language to ratchet up tension. It keeps yelling insults but not one is taking offense, nor should anyone. This statement looks like a childish rant or manic frenzy.
No one, not even North Korean leaders, can take seriously the accusations that the Allies have attacked the North or attempted to invade or attempted to destroy monuments. The North Koreans leaders NightWatch has met and studied do not talk or behave that way and they are still in power.
Whoever in the propaganda department drafted this statement has a poor command of English and seems to know little about the military history. Everything that the North is now decrying so shrilly has taken place more than once in the past 60 years, including long range bombing missions from the continental US.
The propaganda people are making Kim Jong Un look foolish outside North Korea. But it is equally clear that much of this rhetoric is aimed at the North Korean people. In past years, at the end of March both Koreas would be standing down for spring planting after a vigorous winter training cycle.