South Korea Says it Will ‘Punish’ North for ‘Provocations’

by | Dec 29, 2022

South Korea Says it Will ‘Punish’ North for ‘Provocations’

by | Dec 29, 2022

FILE PHOTOS. (Credit: Flickr / Roman Harak; Wikipedia / J. Patrick Fischer)

South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol has vowed more aggressive retaliation to military action by Pyongyang, calling to “punish” the DPRK soon after Seoul unveiled a new $440 million military spending package.

Briefing reporters following a meeting between the president and South Korea’s National Security Office on Wednesday, Yoon’s press secretary Kim Eun-hye said officials were instructed to react forcefully to any future “provocations,” citing a major breach of South Korea’s airspace by North Korean drones earlier this week.

“President Yoon told them to punish and retaliate in no uncertain terms in response to any provocation by North Korea, saying that is the most powerful way to deter provocations,” she said, adding that Yoon “also emphasized that we must not be fearful or hesitant just because North Korea has nuclear weapons.”

The national security meeting took place days after Pyongyang flew five reconnaissance drones over the border separating the two Koreas, prompting the South to scramble military aircraft in response. Though the drones remained in Seoul’s airspace for up to seven hours, some flying over the country’s capital city, the South Korean military was unable to shoot down any of the UAVs.

Yoon reportedly “berated” Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup over the failure to bring down the aircraft, saying the incident showed that the military was “greatly lacking” in preparedness, and also vowed to bolster South Korea’s air defenses and surveillance capabilities to prevent similar incursions in the future.

Toward that end, the Defense Ministry announced on Wednesday that it would spend some $441 million over the next five years on a variety of different projects, including the development of ‘non-kinetic’ weapons platforms, such as an “airborne laser” designed to bring down drones, as well as a new signal jammer.

Tensions have soared between the North and South in recent months, with the DPRK conducting more weapons tests in 2022 than any year prior. South Korea, meanwhile, has significantly stepped up live-fire military drills with the United States and Japan, despite vocal condemnation from Pyongyang, which considers the exercises as preparations for an attack. Seoul, Washington and Tokyo have additionally pledged to further boost trilateral military ties between themselves, largely citing alleged threats from North Korea and China.

 

 

North Korean Drones Penetrate South Korean Airspace

About Will Porter

Will Porter is assistant news editor at the Libertarian Institute and a staff writer and editor at RT. Find more of his work at Antiwar.com and Consortium News.

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