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(LEAD) N. Korea says it has entered into 'war' against S. Korea

All Headlines 09:06 March 30, 2013

(ATTN: UPDATES throughout with details)

SEOUL, March 29 (Yonhap) -- North Korea announced Saturday that it has entered a state of war against South Korea.

In a special statement, the North's "party, ministries and other institutions" said they will deal with every inter-Korean issue in a wartime manner.

"Situations on the Korean Peninsula, which are neither in peace or at war, have come to an end," read the statement carried by the Korean Central News Agency, Pyongyang's official news agency.

It cited an emergency military meeting convened by leader Kim Jong-un on Thursday in which he reportedly approved plans for striking U.S. and South Korean targets.

Kim's "important decision" is an ultimatum to "hostile forces" and a final decision for justice, added the statement.

But the North stopped short of launching an actual attack immediately, saying its military is waiting for a final order by Kim.

It added it would carry out merciless retaliation in case of any provocative acts by the U.S. or South Korea.

The two Koreas have remained technically at war since their 1950-53 conflict finished in a cease-fire, not a formal peace treaty.

The North earlier said it would nullify the 1953 Armistice Agreement and all non-aggression pacts with the South.

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