Monday, December 27, 2010

South Korea’s President Vows Retaliation if North Attacks

TOKYO — President Lee Myung-bak of South Korea on Monday vowed a fearless retaliation against North Korea if attacked again, while the Japanese foreign minister said that his nation’s military ties with South Korea would slowly increase in response to the North.

In a radio address, Mr. Lee said that his nation would not shy away from defending itself against the North, even if it meant the possibility of war.

“We have now been awakened to the realization that war can be prevented and peace assured only when such provocations are met with a strong response,” Mr. Lee said.

In an interview in Tokyo, Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara of Japan said that his nation stood with South Korea and the United States on the issue of North Korea.

Tensions have remained high on the Korean Peninsula since a North Korean artillery barrage of South Korea’s Yeonpyeong Island last month that killed four people, including two civilians. The two Koreas have ramped up the war rhetoric, while South Korea has held a series of military drills apparently aimed at showing the North that it is ready to strike back forcefully if again provoked.
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