Shots Fired Between North & South Korea as Tensions Mount over Nuclear Weapons Test

South Korean troops have fired warning shots at soldiers from the North as tensions continue to rise over reports that the North plans to test a nuclear weapon.

|PIC1|Early reports suggest that about 40 shots were fired when soldiers crossed into the demilitarised zone, explain the BBC.

As pressure mounts on the North to halt any impending nuclear tests, South Korea has welcomed a statement by the United Nations Security Council telling North Korea to put an end to their nuclear testing plans.

Fears have been optimised as some commentators have warned that a nuclear weapon test could come as early as this weekend.

Reports have stated that after entering about 30 metres into the Demilitarised Zone between the North and the South, the Northern troops returned to their side of the military demarcation line.

One Southern military source, reported to The Associated Press, that it was unclear whether the intrusion was "intentional or whether it was to catch fish".

The U.N. Security Council has appealed to North Korea Friday to cancel a planned nuclear-weapon test and has warned Pyongyang of unspecified consequences if it goes ahead.

The formal statement was adopted unanimously by the Security Council three days after the closed Communist state made public its plans to carry out its first underground nuclear test.

North Korea defended its decision saying its hand had been forced by a U.S. "threat of nuclear war and sanctions," while U.S. officials warned that the state might detonate a device as early as this weekend. A Chinese source said Pyongyang planned to carry out the test deep inside an abandoned mine, reports Reuters.

Japan's U.N. Ambassador Kenzo Oshima, this month's council president, read aloud the statement at a formal meeting which warned that such a nuclear test would "jeopardise peace, stability and security in the region and beyond" and "bring universal condemnation by the international community."

The statement also warned North Korea that a nuclear test would lead to further unspecified Security Council action "consistent with its responsibility under the Charter of the United Nations."

According to analysts, North Korea probably has enough fissile material to make six to eight nuclear bombs but probably does not have the technology to devise one small enough to mount on a missile.

North Korea has been under a U.N. emargo since July 15 on dangerous weapons and related materials going to or leaving the country.

The U.S. and Japan in particular are pushing for North Korea to be dealth with more severely.

"We think the main point is that North Korea should understand how strongly the United States and other council members feel that they should not test this nuclear device," U.S. Ambassador John Bolton told reporters.

"And if they do test it, it will be a very different world a day after the test."