Thursday, May 28, 2009
The tensions stirred by North Korea's underground test of a nuclear bomb earlier this week continue to grow.
South Korean and U.S. troops facing North Korea have boosted their alert level.
The move follows North Korea's threat to attack any U.S. and South Korean ships that try to intercept its vessels. That was prompted by Seoul's decision to join a U.S.-led anti-proliferation program aimed at stopping and inspecting ships suspected of transporting banned weapons, including nuclear technology.
Pyongyang has long warned that it would consider the South's participation in the program as a declaration of war. Wednesday, a North Korean military statement vowed to deliver "a decisive and merciless retaliatory blow" to anyone trying to inspect its vessels.
Meanwhile, diplomats at the U.N. are discussing a possible expansion of U.N. sanctions against North Korea.