October 7, 2006 -- South Korea and Japan have welcomed a declaration by the UN Security Council threatening punitive measures if North Korea carries out a nuclear test.
The Security Council unanimously adopted on October 6 a nonbinding statement warning North Korea against conducting a nuclear test and also threatening unspecified Security Council action if North Korea goes ahead with its plans.
South Korea's Foreign Ministry today voiced support for the Security Council statement and also urged the North to return to long-stalled talks on ending Pyongyang's nuclear-weapons program.
Japan's Foreign Ministry called for "stern punitive measures" should North Korea carry out a nuclear test.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Il met his top military commanders ahead of the October 8 anniversary of his appointment as head of the Korean Workers Party in 1997 and urged them to bolster the nation's defenses.
Meanwhile, South Korean troops fired warning shots today after five North Korean soldiers crossed into the southern side of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) dividing the two countries.
The South Korean military said the North Korean soldiers had crossed the military demarcation line along a river in the DMZ before the shots were fired. At least one of the soldiers was armed.
The North Koreans retreated after the shots were fired. None of the soldiers was reported injured in the fire.
It was not clear whether the soldiers had intentionally crossed the DMZ line.
(compiled from agency reports)