Images of four North Korean female soldiers in heels and Soviet-style hats were released in the latest act of bravado from dictator Kim Jong- un.
The images were accompanied by a fresh round of North Korean rhetoric claiming the communist state had “powerful striking means” on standby for a launch.
Images of four North Korean female soldiers in heels and Soviet-style hats were released in the latest act of bravado from dictator Kim Jong- un
The official statement is the latest in a torrent of warlike threats seen outside Pyongyang as an effort to raise fears and pressure Seoul and Washington into changing their North Korea policy.
The eyes of the world remain focused on North Korea after South Korea warned that the prospect of a missile attack was “considerably high”.
The US is on standby to intercept any missile fired and warned North Korea it was “skating very close to a dangerous line” after it emerged the secretive state’s weapons system was “fuelled and ready to launch”.
NATO has approved the deployment of Patriot anti-missile batteries along Turkey’s border with Syria.
The long-expected move emerged from a meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Brussels, and amid growing fears that Syria could use chemical weapons.
NATO’s Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said the ministers had “unanimously expressed grave concerns” about the use of chemical weapons.
Syria has said it would never use such weapons against its own people.
The meeting of the 28-member Western military alliance’s foreign ministers in Brussels follows a request from Turkey to boost its defences along the border.
NATO has approved the deployment of Patriot anti-missile batteries along Turkey’s border with Syria
In a statement, NATO said it had “agreed to augment Turkey’s air defence capabilities in order to defend the population and territory of Turkey and to contribute to the de-escalation of the crisis along the alliance’s border”.
Recent intelligence assessments have indicated Damascus is contemplating using ballistic missiles, potentially armed with chemical warheads.
Speaking after the meeting, Anders Fogh Rasmussen told reporters that the foreign ministers had “unanimously expressed grave concerns” about the reports, saying: “Any such action would be completely unacceptable and a clear breach of international law.”
He would not give further details on the deployment, but said it would ensure effective protection of Turkey against any missile attack, whether carrying chemical weapons or not.
NATO officials have previously made clear such a move would be purely defensive.
Syrian activists say at least 70 people have been killed in an attack on a house in Hama.
They said several houses in the Mashaa at-Tayyar district in southern Hama were destroyed by a big explosion.
State media said 16 people died in the blast in a house used as a bomb factory by “armed terrorist groups”.
Meanwhile, a video has emerged which purportedly shows a man being buried alive by security forces, allegedly for sending material to TV stations.
The unnamed man, who is said to be a media activist, is seen pleading for his life as earth is shoveled over his head. He then goes silent.
The security forces are heard cursing him for receiving money for sending material to Arabic satellite TV stations.
Syrian activists say at least 70 people have been killed in an attack on a house in Hama
The video was leaked by sympathizers.
Following the blast in Hama, activists posted video on the internet showing a scene of devastation, with bodies being pulled from the rubble.
One report said 13 children and 15 women were among the dead.
They said the blast was caused by government shelling or even a Scud missile attack.
State television showed pictures of injured children in hospital and says that a group using the house to make bombs detonated them accidentally.
The reports cannot be independently verified owing to government restrictions on foreign media.
Continuing violence has been reported across Syria since a ceasefire was introduced earlier this month – including in towns where UN observers are present.
There are two observers currently stationed in Hama.
France now says the Security Council should consider the use of force in Syria if a UN-backed peace plan proposed by international envoy Kofi Annan fails to stop the violence.
The plan calls on Damascus to withdraw troops and heavy weapons from cities.
The UN has sent a small advance team of observers to Syria. Last weekend the Security Council approved the deployment of another 300.
The UN says about 9,000 people have died since pro-democracy protests began in March 2011. In February, the Syrian government put the death toll at 3,838 – 2,493 civilians and 1,345 security forces personnel.