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North Korea puts forces on full alert

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North Korea puts forces on full alert

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Tension is rising on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang put its forces on full alert ahead of joint military exercises in the South.

The North is preparing to test-fire a long-range missile which it says is designed to carry satellites into space. An army spokesman said any attempt by the South or the US to intercept it or shoot it down would be treated as an act of war. Pictures have been released of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il voting in polls yesterday for the Supreme People’s Assembly. The election had been scheduled for last August, but was delayed amid reports Kim had suffered a stroke. Pyongyang recently inflamed tensions with the South by saying it refuses to guarentee the safety of commercial jets flying near its airspace. Last-minute preparations are underway for the start of exercises involving South Korean forces and the US military. Pyongyang says such drills are provocative and only take place on the eve of war.