Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

S. Korea Troops on Alert; North Blasts U.S. Moves

March 24, 1994| From Reuters

SEOUL — South Korea put its armed forces on special alert Wednesday as the north warned that U.S. deployment of antimissile batteries in the south will push the peninsula to the brink of war.

Tensions have mounted rapidly in recent days, with North Korea responding dramatically to rising Western pressure on the isolated Stalinist state to prove that it is not developing nuclear weapons.

In another move likely to inflame the situation, South Korea confirmed that this year's "Team Spirit" joint military exercises with U.S. forces will go ahead, perhaps as early as next month, and will involve the Patriot missiles.

Seoul and Washington had suspended Team Spirit on condition North Korea allow full inspections of its nuclear facilities. But the International Atomic Energy Agency says it was barred from making full inspections of a facility.

South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff issued the alert order covering 650,000 troops as a precaution against North Korea provoking an armed conflict while President Kim Young Sam is abroad, a Defense Ministry spokesman said.

Kim leaves today for a weeklong trip to Japan and China.

North Korea's Central News Agency called the U.S. decision to deploy Patriot missiles in key sites around Seoul "a provocative step to drive the situation into extremes."

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|