The decision to raise the military’s level of alert is based on specific intelligence, a security official in the Russian Far East command told Kyodo News. A spokesperson for the Russian Embassy in Tokyo declined to comment on the reports.
Any nuclear test by North Korea would trigger a new round of international condemnation, particularly as it comes hard on the heels of Pyongyang going ahead with the launch of what it claims was a rocket designed to put a satellite into orbit.
The United Nations Security Council issued a unanimous criticism of the launch, pointing out that it was identical to a test-fire of a long-range missile and violated previous Security Council resolutions.
Russian authorities have expressed displeasure at the timing of the anticipated nuclear test by the North, which would be the regime’s third after blasts in October 2006 and May 2009. The Russian Far East city of Vladivostok is around 60 miles from the border with the North and is scheduled to host the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in September.
Pyongyang is showing no signs of bowing to the international pressure, however, and on Wednesday used the 80th anniversary of the founding of the North Korean army to declare that it is armed with “powerful, modern weapons” that are capable of defeating the “imperialis
Troops loyal to President Bashar al-Assad have been shelling Homs for more than a week to retake parts of the city captured by rebel forces. Hundreds are believed to have been killed since last Saturday, and the humanitarian conditions in the city were worsening.
Homs was under “brutal shelling” on Tuesday, the Local Coordination Committees activist group said, citing its network of witnesses on the ground.
With diplomatic efforts bogged down, the conflict in Syria is taking on the dimensions of a civil war, with army defectors clashing almost daily with soldiers.
UN human rights chief Navi Pillay warned on Monday that the Security Council’s failure to take action has emboldened the Syrian government to launch an all-out assault.
In a speech to veterans of the Falklands War, Mrs Kirchner accused Britain of acting like a colonial power by deploying its most powerful warship – and the Duke of Cambridge – to the region.
“We can not interpret in any other way the deployment of an ultra-modern destroyer accompanying the heir to the throne, who we would prefer to see in civilian attire,” Mrs Kirchner said.
Demanding that David Cameron “give an opportunity for peace and dialogue”, she pledged to lodge a complaint at the UN about the presence of HMS Dauntless and Prince William.
“The question of the Malvinas has stopped being just an Argentinean cause. It has become a Latin American cause. It is a global cause,” Mrs Kirchner said.
“I have instructed our foreign secretary to submit before the UN security council and the UN assembly this militarisation, which is a serious risk to to international security”.