Mon, 01 Apr 2013 05:15:00 GMT | By AFP

S Korea leader vows 'strong' retaliation to North

South Korea's new president says she takes the near-daily stream of bellicose threats from the North 'very seriously'

S Korea leader vows 'strong' retaliation to North (© Reuters)

Seoul: South Korea's new president on Monday promised a strong military response to any North Korean provocation after Pyongyang announced that the two countries were now in a state of war. President Park Geun-Hye's warning came as North Korea's rubber-stamp parliament was set to hold its annual session and a day after ruling party leaders vowed to enshrine Pyongyang's right to nuclear weapons in law.

In a meeting with senior military officials and Defence Minister Kim Kwan-Jin, Park said she took the near-daily stream of bellicose threats emanating from the North over the past month "very seriously". "I believe that we should make a strong and immediate retaliation without any other political considerations if (the North) stages any provocation against our people," she said.

Park, a conservative who had advocated cautious engagement with the North during her campaign, has been compelled to take a more hardline posture after assuming office in February. The Korean peninsula has been caught in a cycle of escalating tensions since North Korea's long-range rocket launch in December which its critics condemned as a ballistic missile test.

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