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South Korea ready to stand up to North

March 7, 2012 at 7:21 AM
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YEONPYEONG ISLAND, South Korea, March 7 (UPI) -- South Korea says its military is prepared to retaliate if provoked by North Korea.

Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin said he believes North Korea will provoke South Korea to provide an opportunity for new leader Kim Jong Un to consolidate his power, Yonhap reported.

South Korea's defense leader visited the western border island of Yeonpyeong Tuesday amid threats from North Korea regarding alleged defamation of Kim Jong Un by South Korean troops. The island was shelled by North Korea in 2010.

Kim Kwan-jin said South Korea will "powerfully retaliate" against any attack by North Korea, the South Korean news agency reported.

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