South Korean officials are playing down security fears on the peninsula amid what seem to be daily threats from the North and a warning that a nuclear war was imminent.
A Defense Ministry official in Seoul says South Korea has deployed three naval destroyers, an early warning surveillance aircraft and a land-based radar system.
But many North Koreans are focused today on the first anniversary of their leader's appointment as head of the ruling Worker's Party.
Still, at the border: North Korea remains tense as more South Korean workers return.
WASHINGTON (AP) - A Senate aide and a lobbyist say two senators have struck a bipartisan deal on expanding background checks to more firearms purchases. The agreement could build support for President Barack Obama's drive to curb gun violence.
Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Republican Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania planned to announce their pact Wednesday.
Gun control advocates consider background checks the most effective of the proposals Congress is considering for reducing gun violence.
The deal would expand the checks to cover all commercial sales, such as at gun shows and online. Private transactions that are not for profit, such as those between relatives, would be exempt.
Currently, the system only covers sales through licensed gun dealers.
The aide and lobbyist spoke on condition of anonymity to describe private talks.
PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) - A South Korean Defense Ministry official says North Korea has completed preparations for a missile test that could come any day.
The warning Wednesday came as Pyongyang prepared to mark the April 15 birthday of its founder Kim Il Sung, historically a time when it seeks to draw the world's attention with dramatic displays of military power.
In Pyongyang, however, the focus was more on beautifying the city ahead of the nation's biggest holiday. Soldiers hammered away on construction projects and gardeners got down on their knees to plant flowers and trees.
The official in Seoul said the North's military is capable of conducting multiple missile launches involving Scud and medium-range Rodong missiles, as well as a missile transported to the east coast recently.
He spoke on condition of anonymity.