Michael Lea
Mail Online
May 27, 2009

North Korea raised the stakes in its nuclear stand-off with the world yesterday by threatening a military strike against South Korea.

[efoods]Kim Jong-Il’s secretive regime warned that it would launch an attack if any of its vessels were intercepted as part of a U.S-led initiative to search ships for nuclear materials.

It has also abandoned the 1953 truce that ended the Korean conflict and has preserved a fragile peace for decades.

And there were ominous signs that the pariah state had restarted efforts to make weapons-grade plutonium.

The moves are part of an increasingly hard line being taken by North Korea since it conducted an underground atomic test earlier this week.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton yesterday warned the country over its ‘provocative and belligerent’ threats.

Mrs Clinton also underscored the U.S.’s commitment to defend its allies South Korea and Japan – which are in easy range of North Korean missiles. She said that the intent of U.S. diplomats was to ‘try to rein in the North Koreans’.

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