South Korea vows ‘stern’ retaliation — Analysis

The warning from Seoul comes amid fears of a North Korean nuclear ‘provocation’

South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol warned that he would respond quickly to any threat “provocations” from Pyongyang, telling his country’s military on Wednesday to be on higher alert as tensions again soar between the two neighbors.

Yoon ordered South Korea’s armed forces to “promptly and sternly” According to Reuters officials will retaliate against the North in case of an incident. Reuters also noted concern among officials about Pyongyang’s first nuclear test within five years.

“President Yoon said strong defense capabilities should be ready to protect the country’s security and national interest as the security uncertainties surrounding South Korea and Northeast Asia are growing more than ever,” the president’s office said in a statement.

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While it has avoided nuclear test, North Korea has been conducting a series of missile trials over the last few months. They have broken a Seoul-imposed moratorium against such testing. South Korea’s new president has adopted a belligerent tone towards the North after Moon Jae-in tried a variety of outreach projects. This included a historic meeting at DMZ with US President Donald Trump, and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

Yoon met US President Joe Biden, and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, last week at a NATO Summit in Madrid (Spana), where they all agreed to expand. “deterrence” against Pyongyang. On Monday, six American F-35 fighter jets arrived in South Korea for their first announced visit since 2017, with Seoul’s Defense Ministry stating the deployment was meant “to demonstrate the strong deterrent and joint defense posture of the US-ROK alliance,” using initials for the Republic Korea, the south’s official name.

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