Tension is rising rapidly 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 America to intercept it or shoot it down would be treated as an act of war.
Pyongyang had already inflamed matters by refusing to guarentee the safety of commercial jets flying near its airspace.Last-minute preparations are underway for the start of ten days of exercises involving South Korean forces and the US military. Pyongyang said such drills are provocative and only take place on the eve of war.