This weekend on The Nation:
Is the show down between North Korea and the US just posturing?
Lisa Owen talks to Washington Post correspondent Anna Fifield.
Russian authorities are denying reports that they are moving troops to the border with North Korea over growing tensions in the Korean peninsula.
The Interfax news agency on Friday quoted Alexander Gordeyev, spokesman for the Far Eastern Military district, as saying that the movement of heavy weaponry, caught on film and widely distributed on social media, is part of “absolutely scheduled manoeuvres of combat readiness”.
Gordeyev said the military hardware was on its way back from drills elsewhere and denied any connection to the tensions around North Korea’s nuclear program.
In Moscow, first deputy chairman of the defence committee at the Federation Council, Frants Klintsevich, told RIA Novosti the movement was pre-planned and dismissed reports suggesting Russia was preparing for a possible US attack on North Korea as speculation.
South Korea said on Friday it was on heightened alert ahead of another important anniversary in North Korea, with a large concentration of military hardware amassed on both sides of the border amid concerns about a new nuclear test by Pyongyang.
North Korea said late on Friday the state of affairs on the Korean peninsula was “extremely perilous” because of “madcap American nuclear war manoeuvres aimed at trampling on our sovereignty and right to survival.”
U.S. officials said there was a higher-than-usual level of activity by Chinese bombers, signalling a possible heightened state of readiness by reclusive North Korea’s sole major ally, although the officials played down concern and left open a range of possible reasons. Beijing denied its aircraft were on an increased level of alert.