Tensions between North and South Korea are spiraling out of control. The north has cut all ties, and Kim Jong-il reportedly ordered his forces to prepare to defend against attack. Seoul continues to push for satisfaction in the U.N. Security Council after the north allegedly torpedoed a South Korean warship.

State media reports that North Korea will not engage diplomatically until the south’s President Lee Myong-bak leaves office. Lee has backed his nation away from its so-called sunshine policy, meant to ease relations between the two Koreas.

Speaking from Beijing, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton praised President Lee and referred to stability on the Korean Peninsula as a “shared responsibility” with China. Clinton added that “we will work with the international community and our Chinese colleagues to fashion an effective and appropriate response” to the crisis.

China is by far North Korea’s biggest trading partner and, together with South Korea, accounts for most of the north’s imports and exports. — PZS

The Guardian:

The announcement, leaves relations at their worst point for years. It came as a monitoring group in Seoul reported that the Northern leader, Kim Jong-il, last week ordered his military to prepare for war in case the South attacks. Southern military officials were unable to confirm the report, and said they had detected no unusual troop movements.

Pyongyang’s statement followed President Lee Myong-bak’s announcement that the South would suspend trade, ban Northern ships from its waters and take Pyongyang to the UN security council. This morning, he announced that it would redesignate the North as its “main enemy” – a term it dropped six years ago, when relations were thawing.

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