Following a spate of recent provocations, the South Korean government has been forced to evacuate an area in the North West of the country near the border with North Korea. Meanwhile, North Korea has entered a “semi-state of war” after a brief exchange of fire earlier in the week.

Tensions rose after South Korea began broadcasting propaganda messages near the demilitarized zone on the border with North Korea after two of its soldiers were injured by a landmine it says was planted by the communist country. This in turn led to small arms fire coming from North Korea, prompting the Seoul based government to fire artillery rounds into the country.

The loudspeakers were dismantled in 2004 following negotiations between the two nations but the South Korean government rebuilt them in 2011 and began broadcasting earlier in the month. Kim Jong-un has responded by telling his military to be prepared to war and to start testing missile launches once again.

The two countries technically remain at war because after the end of the conflict in 1953 they only signed an armistice rather than a peace treaty. This has led to various incidents over the past few decades that have involved military fire over the border. The latest event seems to be an escalation however, threatening to spill over into more widespread violence.