With the isolated, impoverished Communist country issuing more dangerous threats almost on a daily basis against her country and its ally the United States, President Park Geun-hye, during a policy briefing at the Defense Ministry, said she takes the North's war threats "very seriously," Yonhap News reported.
The North already has scrapped its non-aggression treaty with the South, severed a military hotline and this past weekend described current inter-Korean relations as being in a "state of war."
"The reason for the military's existence is to protect the country and the people from threats," Park said. "If any provocations happen against our people and our country, it should respond powerfully in the early stage without having any political considerations.
"As commander-in-chief of the armed forces, I will trust the military's judgment on abrupt and surprise provocations by North Korea as it is the one that directly faces off against the North. Please carry out your duty of guarding the safety of the people without getting distracted even a bit."
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un last week also placed his strategic rocket units on standby, threatening to strike targets in South Korea, the United States, and military bases in Hawaii and Guam.