South Korea has sent hundreds more Marines to its tense border with North Korea, military officials said yesterday as world powers prepared to punish the communist state for its nuclear test.
US intelligence officials believe Pyongyang will respond to the UN Security Council resolution with a third atomic test, sources quoted by US TV networks said.
More Marines were sent last week to two islands along the disputed Yellow Sea border, the scene of bloody naval battles in 1999 and 2002, a Marine Corps source said.
He gave no figures but Yonhap news agency said more than 600 had been sent to Yeonpyeong and Baekryeong islands to reinforce the present garrisons.
The North followed up its second nuclear test on May 25 by launching short-range missiles, renouncing the armistice on the Korean peninsula and threatening possible attacks on its neighbor.
It is also pressuring South Korean firms at the Kaesong joint industrial estate north of the border — the last reconciliation project between the two nations — by demanding huge rent and wage increases.
Fox News said US intelligence officials had warned US President Barack Obama that the North would respond to the UN resolution with a nuclear test. South Korea’s defense ministry said this was a possibility.
The Security Council was to meet yesterday for a likely vote on a draft sanctions resolution agreed by its five permanent members — Britain, China, France, Russia and the US — plus Japan and South Korea.
The text calls on UN member states to slap biting sanctions on North Korea.
They include tougher inspections of cargo suspected of containing banned missile or nuclear-related items, a tighter arms embargo with the exception of light weapons and new financial restrictions.
Swedish Member of Parliament Hampus Hagman is pushing for changing the name of the nation’s trade office in Taipei to signal improved relations with “Asia’s perhaps foremost democracy.” Hagman on Wednesday last week proposed renaming the Swedish Trade and Invest Council to “Sweden’s Office in Taipei,” following similar changes by other nations. The Swedish Trade and Invest Council, part of Business Sweden, is owned by the Swedish government and Swedish industry. Taiwan and Sweden share important values such as respect for democracy, human rights, the rule of law and freedom of speech, Hagman said in the motion, adding that the two nations
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