Nightly News   |  March 30, 2013

North Korea in ‘state of war’ with South

North Korea said on Saturday it was entering a “state of war” with South Korea. NBC’s Ian Williams reports.

Share This:

This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> u.s. officials are keeping a wary eye on north korea after the isolated nuclear armed nation announces it's now in a state of war with south korea , and warning that provocations could result in nuclear war . the latest in a series of threatening statements coming from north korea and its young leader kim jong -un. there are close to 30,000 american troops in south korea , and tonight there are fears one misstep by either side could ignite a powder kelg. nbc's ian williams is in south korea tonight with reaction.

>> reporter: lester, north korea has continued to ratchet up the pressure, what it described as a state of war on the korean peninsula . the announcement came on state television , adding that south korea would now be dealt with according to wartime regulations. students were shown marching to wartime songs. it's not clear what exactly the latest threat means. technically, there's been a state of war on the peninsula for 60 years. there haven't been a peace treaty at the end of the korean war . a spokesman for the south korean defense ministry accused the north of harming peace and stability. the north's new young leader, kim jong -un, has been threatening to attack the south and u.s. on a daily basis. sanctions followed the third nuclear test in the north. he's also denounced routine south korean military exercises which included two b-12 bombers. there are threats from across the border, but the sheer volume and violence of the recent ret rick has people on edge. i'm very afraid and scared, says this young woman . mainly south koreans shrug it off, saying there's a slim chance war will break out. most are focused on the industrial zone in cal song, just across the dmz, where 124 south korean companies directly employ more than 50,000 north korean workers. it's a big source of foreign currency for the north. it's weathered many ups and downs in relations and is seen as a barometer of the north's inattentions beyond the rhetoric. today the north threatened to shuth it down, which would be seen here as an ominous development. in spite of all the rhetoric against the u.s., experts say that in the current tense atmosphere, the biggest danger is of a local skirmish or miscalculation which could then escalate. lester?