May 28, 2009
US and South Korean forces raised their military alert level today, a day after North Korea renounced the 55-year-old truce on the peninsula and threatened war if its ships are searched for weapons of mass destruction.
Three days after North Korea carried out an underground nuclear test, the US-South Korea combined forces command moved its level of surveillance to the second-highest level on its scale of five, the highest since North Korea’s first nuclear test in 2006.
Meanwhile, the North’s state media accused the allies of plotting an attack, and warned that small incidents could have disastrous consequences. “The northward invasion scheme by the US and the South Korean puppet regime has exceeded the alarming level,” the Workers’ Newspaper said in an editorial. “A minor accidental skirmish can lead to a nuclear war.”
In Seoul, the spokesman for South Korea’s defence ministry said: “We are maintaining a tight defence posture to prevent the North’s military provocations. The military will deal sternly with provocative acts.” The South Korean JoongAng Ilbo newspaper reported that the Government has deployed extra anti-air missiles and artillery on five disputed islands in the Yellow Sea near the disputed sea border with the North.