South Korea President Orders Military to Boost Border Security

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  • South Korean soldiers gathered in a military exercise in Paju, near the demilitarized zone between the two Korean countries, Friday (17/1). AP/Ahn Young-joonarrack

    South Korean soldiers gathered in a military exercise in Paju, near the demilitarized zone between the two Korean countries, Friday (17/1). AP/Ahn Young-joonarrack

    TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - South Korean President Park Geun-Hye yesterday ordered the military to boost border security to protect the country against potential provocations by North Korea, which protested the joint military drills between South Korea and the US as a provocation for invasion.

    Park's top press secretary Lee Jung-Hyun said the North had a pattern of issuing peace offensives followed by military provocations, according to Yonhap news agency.

    "Park ordered the defense minister and other security-related ministers to make more efforts to keep an airtight security posture against provocations at a time North Korea is conducting a flurry of propaganda offensives," Yonhap quoted Lee as saying in New Delhi where Park is currently on a state visit, yesterday.

    South Korea has reacted negatively to the North's proposal, saying it would not cancel its military drills with the US.

    Last year's exercises were held following North Korea's third and largest nuclear test which prompted months of escalated military tensions that saw Pyongyang issue apocalyptic threats of nuclear war against Seoul and Washington.

    North-South Korean ties are currently in a state of watchful limbo, with both sides voicing willingness to improve relations while accusing the other of lacking sincerity.

    Earlier this month, President Park had called for the resumption of reunions for families separated by the Korean War. The North, however, rejected the proposal, citing the South-US exercises as a major barrier.

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