posted on Mar, 8 2003 @ 08:42 PM
A senior U.S. defense official says North Korean fighter jets intercepted an American spy plane earlier this month in an effort to take its crew
The unnamed official told the New York Times that North Korean pilots signaled for the U.S. plane to follow them. The official said the North Koreans
were clearly trying to force the U.S. plane to land in the Communist-ruled country and take the crew hostage. The crew of the unarmed U.S. plane
ignored the North Korean order and later landed safely at a base in Japan.
On Friday, North Korea ordered ships to avoid a portion of the Sea of Japan, which U.S. officials believe will be used to test a missile. Washington
says it is not overly concerned about the announcement from Pyongyang. American officials also downplayed the recent decision to transfer a U.S.
bomber force to Guam. Pyongyang views the move as a prelude to attack North Korea in a dispute over the resumption of North Korea's nuclear program.
U.S. President Bush has called on North Korea to halt nuclear development, and has offered to participate in talks alongside South Korea, Japan, China
and Russia. Pyongyang insists that future talks should only include the United States.