Seoul vows strong response to North Korean provocation

Seoul, April 1 (IANS) South Korean President Park Geun-hye Monday instructed the military to strongly respond to North Korean provocation.

“If any provocation is made against our people and the country, (the military) should strongly respond (to the provocation) in an early stage without any other political considerations,” Yonhap News Agency quoted Park as saying at the annual policy plan briefing by the defence ministry.

Park said she “sees the recent North Korean threat very seriously”, mentioning the nullification of non-aggression pact, the cutting-off of the military communications line and the repeated war threats, reported Xinhua.

On Saturday, Pyongyang warned that if South Korea continues to insult its northern neighbour’s dignity, it will shut down their joint industrial park located in North Korea’s border city of Kaesong. South Korea’s unification ministry in charge of dialogue and communication with North Korea said Monday that the industrial zone is operating normally.

The announcement came just hours after North Korea said it had entered “a state of war” against South Korea, which once again escalated tensions on the Koran Peninsula after Pyongyang conducted its third nuclear test Feb 12.

President Park stressed that she will trust the judgment of the military that is directly facing a possible abrupt raid by North Korea, instructing the military to secure safety of workers at the joint industrial park.

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