Tuesday, June 23, 2009
North Korea has banned ships from a wide area off its east coast, Japan’s Coast Guard said, raising speculation of more missile launches amid a tense nuclear standoff.
The hardline communist state, angrily rejecting what it calls US-inspired sanctions imposed for its May 25 nuclear test, promised Tuesday to retaliate against them.
In Beijing, US and Chinese defence officials were to hold talks later in the day with the Americans expected to seek support for the UN sanctions.
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In the first move to enforce the measures, a US destroyer was tracking a North Korean ship with a suspected weapons cargo. A US defence official said it was believed headed for military-ruled Myanmar.
Japan’s Coast Guard said the North had warned that military drills would be carried out off its eastern port of Wonsan between Thursday and July 10.