ANKARA (AA) – The South Korean president on Wednesday ordered the country’s military to “swiftly and firmly punish” North Korea if it carries out any provocation, local media reported.
Speaking to his military commanders of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps at the Gyeryongdae military headquarters, Yoon Suk-yeol said it is the military’s mission to defend its country.
“(The president) ordered our military to swiftly and firmly punish North Korea in the event that it carries out a provocation,” Yonhap News Agency cited a statement issued from his office after he presided over the first meeting of top commanders since taking office in May.
Since last year, tensions have soared on the Korean Peninsula as both Seoul and Pyongyang have ramped up drills to show off their military might.
Last month, the US, South Korea, and Japan announced plans to bolster security ties and agreed to jointly counter threats from North Korea if Pyongyang carries out another nuclear test.
The US and South Korea extended several offers of dialogue to North Korea to ease current tensions in the Korean Peninsula but North Korea did not respond to the offers.
On May 27, China and Russia vetoed new UN Security Council sanctions that would have been imposed on the North in retaliation for its continued ballistic missile tests, which it conducts in violation of previous council resolutions.
* Writing by Islamuddin Sajid