Tension has been on the rise on the Korean Peninsula this month. Two South Korean border patrol troops were severely injured by landmines laid by North Korea earlier this month. South Korea responded by resuming propaganda broadcasts toward the North, and restricting travel to the Kaesong industrial complex.
The inter-Korean tensions rose to another level when the U.S.-South Korea joint military exercise began. On August 20, the two Koreas exchanged artillery fire. And on August 21, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un mobilized his frontline troops to a wartime footing. The last time he resorted to similar acts of provocation was in 2013, when he declared a “state of war” against South Korea.
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