Thursday, May 28, 2009

Wire: South Korea, US Troops on Alert After North's Threats

Off the Wire

Off the Wire:

WASHINGTON, May 28, 2009 -- Newswire services reported this morning that despite yesterday's White House statements downplaying the situation, South Korean and U.S. troops raised their alert Thursday to the highest level since 2006 after North Korea renounced its truce with the allied forces and threatened to strike any ships trying to intercept its vessels.

The Associated Press reported that the move was a sign of heightened tensions on the peninsula following the North's underground nuclear test and its firing of a series of short-range missiles earlier this week.

In response, Seoul decided to join nations that have agreed to stop and inspect vessels suspected of transporting banned weapons.

North Korea said South Korea's participation in the U.S.-led Proliferation Security Initiative is a prelude to a naval blockade and raises the prospect of a naval skirmish in its western waters.

On Wednesday, North Korea renounced the 1953 truce that halted fighting in the Korean War and said Thursday through its official media that it was preparing for an American-led attack.

The two Koreas remain technically at war since a peace treaty has never replaced the truce.

This is a developing story.

(Report from newswire sources.)

Source: S. Korea, US troops on alert after North's threats

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