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ROK to 'act resolutely' against DPRK provocation

[ 2010-08-11 13:37]     字号 [] [] []  
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The Republic of Korea's military vowed on Tuesday to "act resolutely" against future provocations after the Democratic People's Republic of Korea fired an artillery barrage into waters near the two countries' disputed Yellow Sea border.

Some 10 of the 130 shells which were fired on Monday evening landed on the ROK's side of the line, Seoul military officials said, heightening months of tensions.

The ROK's military in a faxed message to the DPRK described the firing as a "grave provocation" that violates the armistice and a non-aggression agreement, a spokesman for the Joint Chiefs of Staff told AFP.

"If Pyongyang continues its provocative actions, without apologizing for the Cheonan incident, Seoul will act resolutely," the spokesman quoted the message as saying.

Tensions have risen sharply since late May when ROK and the United States, citing a multinational investigation, accused the DPRK of torpedoing one of Seoul's warships, the Cheonan, near the contested border.

ROK staged its largest-ever anti-submarine exercise as a show of force in response to the March sinking. The five-day exercise ended just before the DPRK's artillery salvos began.

The DPRK, which denies involvement in the Cheonan case, describes the ROK's war games - and an earlier joint exercise with US forces - as a military provocation designed to trigger a war.

Pyongyang "will clearly show to those buoyed by war fever what a real war is like, any time it deems necessary, through a war of retaliation of its own style based on its nuclear deterrent", it said.

The US State Department criticized the artillery barrage.

"It is not a helpful sign by Pyongyang and this is exactly the kind of behavior that we would like to see Pyongyang avoid," said US State Department spokesman Philip Crowley.

Relations worsened further after the DPRK seized an ROK squid fishing boat operating off the east coast. Seoul has urged Pyongyang to free the 41-ton boat and its seven crewmen - four ROK crewmen and three Chinese - as soon as possible.


(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

ROK to 'act resolutely' against DPRK provocation

About the broadcaster:

ROK to 'act resolutely' against DPRK provocation

Lee Hannon is Chief Editor at China Daily with 15-years experience in print and broadcast journalism. Born in England, Lee has traveled extensively around the world as a journalist including four years as a senior editor in Los Angeles. He now lives in Beijing and is happy to move to China and join the China Daily team.