South Korea has sent hundreds more Marines to its tense border with North Korea, military officials said on Friday 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, according to sources quoted by American TV networks.
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 told AFP.
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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 neighbour.