'N. Korea war could start by accident, neither side wants to be seen as weak'

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President Putin's worrying thoughts about the current deadlock on the Korean peninsula come as South Korea backtracks on claims that the North is preparing a fourth nuclear test later this week. A government minister in Seoul now says he was being inaccurate when talking about indications of activity at a North Korean test site.

Pyongyang has meanwhile announced it's suspending all work at the countries' joint industrial zone. Earlier, Washington delayed a long-planned missile test, to avoid any further escalation on the Korean peninsula. Pyongyang has been ramping up its rhetoric recently - threatening a pre-emptive, nuclear strike on the U.S. - and declaring a 'state of war' with Seoul. The U.S. and South Korea responded by sending warships and aircraft to the area. East Asia analyst Glyn Ford says the two Koreas are left with little room for maneuver - because neither wants to be perceived as weak.

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