North Korea welcomed plans for two private 'condolence delegations' from South Korea to Kim Jong-il's funeral, but condemned the South's refusal to send official delegation and warned darkly of consequences.
A US destroyer forced back a North Korean freighter ship that was possibly on its way through the South China Sea to Burma (Myanmar) with military cargo. It is not clear if the cargo was nuclear or conventional weaponry.
North Korea has taken control of Mt. Kumgang, a jointly maintained tourist area in which South Korea's Hyundai Asan had invested more than $1.5 billion for a hotel, hot springs, shopping mall, and a road inside the North.
The US and South Korean deployment of new vehicles and robots for defense against nuclear weaponry reflects fears that North Korea, in a leadership struggle and desperate for food, might be tempted to use them.
Kim Jong-il’s different birthday celebrations in North and South Korea dramatize current tensions. For the first time the South's President Lee openly supported groups lofting balloons northward with leaflets bearing insulting messages.
After walking out of a meeting meant as a preliminary step toward six-party nuclear talks, some worry North Korea may stage another nuclear test. Its first test came during a break in six-party talks in 2006.