Kim Jong-Un Is Now Using a Fax Machine to Threaten a Major Attack "Without Notice"

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Dec. 20 2013 10:34 AM

North Korea Is Now Using a Fax Machine to Threaten a Major Attack "Without Notice"

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The effigy of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un is seen during an anti-North rally commemorating the four people killed in a 2010 attack by North Korea in Yeonpyeong on November 23, 2013 in Seoul

Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

North Korea on Friday threatened a "merciless" attack on its neighbor to the south in response to anti-North demonstrations in Seoul earlier this week. Nothing new there, of course; Kim Jong-un and his government have a long history of bombastic threats that fail to live up to their promise. Also not new? The technology used to relay the threat to South Korean: A fax machine. Here's NK News with the dated details:

North Korea on Friday threatened to attack South Korea without any notice via a fax sent to South Korea’s National Security Council, the Ministry of Defence said in Seoul.
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The fax made reference to recent demonstrations in which effigies of Kim Jong Un were burnt in Seoul on the anniversary of Kim Jong Il’s death, an issue that often aggravates the North. South Korea reacted firmly to Pyongyang’s warning that it would “mercilessly” attack “without notice” by sending a fax back that promised “resolute punishment” to any attack initiated by the North.

It's unclear how North Korea plans to attack "without notice" given they would appear to have just given South Korea notice in the form of the fax. But as funny as the fax detail might be in theory, it's worth remembering that international observers are currently even more worried than they usually are about North Korea given earlier this month Kim Jong-un casually executed his uncle, previously his no. 2 man, for alleged treason. Just yesterday the Pentagon warned that the execution is an example of the worrisome unpredictability currently on display by the North Korean regime.

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Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. Follow him on Twitter.