22 Aug 2015

Urgent meeting after Korean war threat

10:04 pm on 22 August 2015

Senior officials of North and South Korea are meeting at the village straddling their military border to hold urgent top-level talks, as tensions in the area remain high.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in February.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un Photo: AFP / KCNA via KNS Republic of Korea

The agreement to meet for dialogue comes amid high tensions, following an exchange of artillery fire and an ultimatum set by the North.

North Korea had given Seoul until 8pm(NZT) tonight to stop anti-North propaganda broadcasts or, its ambassador to the United Nations said, it would go to war.

Following an exchange of fire on Thursday, North Korea declared a "semi-state of war", state media reported.

South Korea said that it would be represented by national security adviser Kim Kwang-jin and Unification Minister Hong Yong-pyo, and the North would send senior officials Hwang Pyong-so and Kim Yong-gon.

The North Korean ambassador earlier accused Seoul for using an August fourth mine explosion as a pretext to resume anti-Pyongyang broadcasting and intensifying joint military exercises with the United States.

Objecting to those military drills, North Korea has requested a meeting at the security council.

UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon has called for restraint from both sides and urged for dialogue as a means to resolve tensions.

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