North Korea fires short-range missile

South Korea said an increasingly aggressive North may be preparing fresh moves after Chinese fishing boats were spotted leaving a disputed sea border on the west coast.
South Korea and the United States have raised the military alert level in the region after the isolated state followed Monday’s nuclear test with missile launches and a threat of war.
Regional powers are waiting to see what the North might do next. Many speculate it may opt for a naval skirmish in disputed waters off the west coast, which should be getting crowded as the lucrative crab fishing season starts.
In New York, the United States and Japan circulated a draft UN Security Council resolution to key members, condemning Pyongyang’s second nuclear test and demanding strict enforcement of sanctions after the North’s first atomic test in October 2006.
North Korea, in its first response to threatened sanctions, said it would take “self-defence measures” if it was punished.
It gave no details other than to say such a move would nullify the armistice that ended the 1950-53 Korean War.
Yonhap quoted an unnamed government source as saying the North fired the short-range rocket from its Musudan-ri missile base around dusk, making it the fifth to be launched since the nuclear test. Most of the missiles are believed to have a range of around 130 km.
The two Koreas have fought two deadly naval skirmishes on their disputed maritime border in the past 10 years and the North has warned another could happen soon.
Alert level raised
The joint command for the 28,500 US troops supporting South Korea’s 6,70,000 soldiers has raised its alert a notch to signify a serious threat from North Korea. That is the highest threat level since the North’s other nuclear test in 2006. It calls for stepped-up surveillance but not an increase in manoeuvres by troops.

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