ON THE BORDER... AND ON THE BRINK
As N Korea launches another missile we speak to soldiers patrolling divide in the South
THOUSANDS of troops on the flashpoint border between North and South Korea were on a knifeedge last night after dictator Kim Jong-un’s latest illegal missile test.
Pyongyang fired an intermediaterange missile over Japan for the second time in recent weeks before the South responded with ballistic rocket drills. It followed the rogue state’s sixth nuclear bomb test and threats to launch attacks on America and its allies. At the heavily militarised border between the two warring countries, South Korean troops were practising live attack drills and patrolling defence positions north of the capital Seoul. Camouflaged soldiers were seen along the 160-mile demilitarised zone separating them and thousands of entrenched North Korean forces. One soldier told the Mirror: “They are dug-in and underground just a few hundred yards from us but you will very rarely see them as they are in tunnels. “They come out at night and sometimes we even hear them. During the recent nuclear test and the missile firing, they even fly their flag high to celebrate this provocation by Kim Jong-un.” The latest test missile, which came after another round of UN sanctions, travelled 2,229 miles – proving North Korea can hit the US territory of Guam, some 2,112 miles from Pyongyang. It passed the northernmost Japanese island of Hokkaido at 7.06am local time yesterday and warnings for residents to take cover went out nine minutes earlier. The missile appeared to land in the sea, some 1,242 miles to the east. Japan’s PM Shinzo Abe warned: “If North Korea continues to walk down this path, it has no bright future.” President Donald Trump was briefed in the White House while the governments of Japan and South Korea held crisis meetings. Seoul responded immediately with a firing exercise of its own short-range ballistic missiles. US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson urged Russia and China to rein in Jongun. He demanded: “China and Russia must indicate their intolerance for these reckless missile launches by taking direct actions of their own.” In London, No10 said Prime Minister Theresa May was “outraged by North Korea’s continued reckless provocation”. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson tweeted: “Yet another illegal missile launch by North Korea. UK and international community will stand together in the face of these provocations.” On Thursday, intelligence agencies reported movement of mobile missile launchers in two places in North Korea – signs of launch preparations. Earlier this week, Pyongyang threatened the US with “the greatest pain it has ever experienced” after the United Nations Security Council imposed an eighth set of sanctions.
THREAT Kim on TV in Tokyo & Mirrorman Chris at border
BLAST FEARS Troops tense on south side of the border