South Korea launched decision to join U.S.-led coalition
intercepting ships suspected of spreading weapons of mass destruction
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -- South Korea launched its participation Wednesday in a U.S.-led coalition to intercept ships suspected of spreading weapons of mass destruction, risking the anger of rival North Korea, one of the countries targeted by the program.
North Korea has long warned it would consider Seoul's participation in the Proliferation Security Initiative as a declaration of war against the North.
South Korea was hosting a seminar Wednesday among 15 participating nations in the southeastern city of Busan, to be followed Thursday with naval interdiction drills involving South Korea, the U.S., Australia and Japan in international waters between South Korea and Japan, the Defense Ministry said.
Seoul said last year it was joining the maritime web after the North conducted its second atomic test.