South Korean security forces are on high alert for any attempt by North Korea to wreck the G20 summit of world leaders. They fear that their neighbor could try to invade some of their territory, test nuclear weapons or attack a South Korean ship. There were even unsubstantiated reports that the repressive regime was considering biochemical attack against the South by sending deadly materials attached to balloons and parachutes across the border.
Although the North has a track-record of bellicose pronouncements, the British delegation at the summit in Seoul - just 50 miles from the border with North Korea - is taking the threat seriously. British officials believe the country's leadership will want to make a dramatic show of power to demonstrate it is "business as usual" for the regime.
However a UK embassy source in Seoul said the presence of China - regarded as sympathetic to the regime - would deter the North from taking action.
Improving relations on the Korean peninsula and reining in the nuclear ambitions of the North are being discussed by world leaders at the G20 summit. Arriving for the meeting, President Obama condemned North Korea for pursing a "path of confrontation and provocation" that, he said, included its relentless pursuit of nuclear weapons.