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South Korea expects possible provocations from North Korea

December 16, 2013, 10:28 UTC+3 SEOUL
Seoul’s concerns are growing that North Korea could try to escalate tensions with the outside world in an effort to strengthen internal unity after executing the young leader’s uncle
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North Korean leader Kim Jong-un inspecting the Designing Institute of the North Korean People's Army (KPA) in Pyongyang

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un inspecting the Designing Institute of the North Korean People's Army (KPA) in Pyongyang

© EPA/YONHAP/KCNA

SEOUL, December 16. /ITAR-TASS/. South Korea does not exclude the possibility of provocations by North Korea, as it remains unknown which steps Pyongyang might take after the execution of Jang Song-Thaek — uncle of the country’s leader Kim Jong Un, South Korean President Park Geun-hye said at a meeting with her senior secretaries.

Seoul’s concerns are growing that North Korea could try to escalate tensions with the outside world in an effort to strengthen internal unity after executing the young leader’s uncle, for treason last week, Yonhap news agency reported.

“When we look at recent series of developments in North Korea, it is uncertain in which direction the North Korean situation will go. We are in a situation where we cannot rule out contingencies, such as reckless provocations,” Park said.

She said the entire nation should be thoroughly prepared for all possibilities, considering the “gravity and unpredictability of the current situation” on the Korean Peninsula. She also called for guarding against the possibility of North Korea attempting to cause division in national unity in the South. “While closely monitoring related developments ... we should be prepared for all situations,” she said. “The military and police should strengthen vigilance against various forms of provocations, especially” in front-line areas, including border islands in the Yellow Sea, she said.

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