As The New York Times reports, North Korea shut down its last military hot lines to South Korea, and that “it put all its missile and artillery units on ‘the highest alert’ on Tuesday, ordering them to be ready to hit South Korea, as well as the United States and its military installations in Hawaii and Guam.” Perhaps even more disturbing, especially considering how provacative N. Korea has been in the last week, it was reported that “The South Korean Defense Ministry [. . .] vowed a ‘thousandfold, ten-thousandfold retaliation’ against a Cheonan-like provocation from the North” (referring to a sub that sank in 2010 that the South claims was attacked by the North). I find the extreme rhetoric flying around fairly chilling.
It is quite possible that N. Korea is responding to the announcement yesterday of a written agreement b/t the US and S. Korea detailing how the US would respond to aggression against the South (though the specific details were not released). The agreement b/t the two countries was reached last Friday, 22 March 2013.