South Korea said on Friday it was on heightened alert ahead of another important anniversary in North Korea, with a large concentration of military hardware amassed on both sides of the border amid concerns about a new nuclear test by Pyongyang.
Meanwhile, US officials said there was a higher-than-usual level of activity by Chinese bombers, signalling a possible heightened state of readiness by reclusive North Korea’s sole major ally, although the officials played down concern and left open a range of possible reasons. Beijing denied its aircraft were on an increased level of alert.
North Korea on Friday said the state of affairs on the Korean peninsula was “extremely perilous” because of “madcap American nuclear war manoeuvres aimed at trampling on our sovereignty and right to survival.”
In Russia, the RIA news agency said a Kremlin spokesman declined to comment on media reports Russia was moving military hardware and troops towards the border with North Korea. North Korea marks the 85th anniversary of the foundation of its Korean People’s Army on Tuesday.