North Korea has continued to defy international condemnation of its aggressive military overtures. Today it test-fired its sixth short-range missile since Monday’s nuclear test. It also warned the UN Security Council that it would answer any punishment with what it called “self-defence measures.”
Earlier this week it accused South Korea of making a “declaration of war” by joining a US pact to stop and search North Korean ships.The growing tension is felt most acutely along the buffer zone on the border of the two Koreas. On one side there are up to 700,000 South Korean and US troops. Few people outside of military circles know exactly how many North Korean soldiers are watching from the other side. The most likely scene of any military conflict though is at sea. Territorial disputes have seen North and South involved in two naval skirmishes in the last ten years. The US Air Force has been increasing surveillance missions from a base in Japan after raising the military alert level in the region.