Tensions rise further as North Korea threatens South Korean island

North Korea's leader Kim Jong-Un recently threatened to wipe out a South Korean island with around 5,000 residents.

North Korean rhetoric has become increasingly bellicose since it became the subject of a series of new United Nations economic sanctions. The sanctions, which were even supported by Pyongyang's ally China, were enacted as a response to recent North Korean underground nuclear tests, according to AFP.

Most of North Korea's threats have been dismissed as mere talk, but the latest, directed at the border island of Baengnyeong, appears more credible. In 2010, North Korea shelled the nearby island Yeonpyeong, killing four residents. It also sunk the South Korean naval vessel Cheonan in the same area.

Kim Jong-un told his frontline artillery officers that they are to strike and wipe out their enemies on the island and turn it into a sea of fire.

"Once an order is issued, you should break the waists of the crazy enemies, totally cut their windpipes and thus clearly show them what a real war is like," Kim Jong-un said, the Korean Central News Agency reports.

A Baengnyeong administrative official, Kim Young-Gu, said the island's shelters are ready and its village councils placed on high alert, according to AFP.

"It's not like there's a mass exodus of panicked islanders to the mainland. But to be honest with you, we're a bit scared," Kim Young-Gu said, AFP reports.