S. Korea to increases forces on western islands

0 CommentsPrint E-mail Xinhua, November 26, 2010
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South Korea will comprehensively revise its rules of engagement and sharply increase military forces on islands in the Yellow Sea where it traded fire with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) two days ago, the presidential office in Seoul said Thursday.

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"There was an assessment that the existing rules of engagement were rather passive, as it was mainly concerned with preventing escalation of the clash," presidential spokeswoman Hong Sang-pyo told reporters following a security meeting presided over by President Lee Myung-bak.

The planned overhaul, she said, would include distinguishing attacks on civilians from those on the military. The DPRK's shelling Tuesday targeted South Korea's Yeonpyeong Island, killing two civilians along with two marines.

The government will also bolster military forces on five northernmost islands in the tense waters west of the Korean peninsula, scrapping the plan by the previous administration to gradually scale down forces stationed in the volatile region, Hong said.

"This kind of provocation can recur anytime," Hong quoted the president as saying. The country should "equip the five vulnerable islands with the world-class (weapons) in deterrence against asymmetric threats."

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