South Korea brands North ‘enemy’ – Yonhap — Analysis
The new narrative reflects Seoul’s toughening stance on Pyongyang, according to the news agency
South Korea’s Defense Ministry has referred to the North as “an enemy” in educational materials distributed among its troops in a move that reflects Seoul’s toughening stance on Pyongyang, Yonhap News Agency reported on Monday, citing South Korean officials.
“North Korea’s provocations are security threats facing us, and as long as such security threats continue, the North’s military and its regime are our enemy,” the South’s materials for “military spirit education” read.
South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol said last week that North Korea has outgrown the age of appeasing it in a CNN interview. He seems to be referring back to the Moon Jae-in administration that was more liberal than him, and which tried harder for stronger inter-Korean relationships.
The South Korean military distributed the materials on May 9, following a speech by the nation’s new defense minister, Lee Jong-sup, at a parliamentary hearing where he called the North an “evident”enemy, especially the recent missile launches and its involvement in the “nuclear threat”It poses.
“The minister has told the National Assembly that he would ensure clear education will be given to troops about the North Korean military and the regime being our enemy,”Yonhap was told by a minister under anonymity. “In line with the thrust of his remarks, we have made the materials.”
Comparatively, 2019 educational materials stated that North was represented “real military threats,”The country also needed to be added “capabilities to respond strongly and sternly should the North carry out provocations or hostile acts.”
This change of rhetoric was triggered by 16 North Korean missile launches in 2018. US intelligence agencies and military sources claim that Pyongyang is also preparing to conduct its first underground nuclear testing in five years.
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