Seoul: South Korea vowed Tuesday as part of a new military directive to retaliate immediately if North Korea fires across the disputed sea border, amid simmering tensions on the peninsula.
Defence minister Kim Tae-Young said South Korean
troops had been ordered to launch a powerful counter-attack if
North Korea fires shells into Seoul-controlled waters.
The order was in line with new combat policy for South
Korean troops guarding the volatile sea border, he told a
parliamentary defence committee.
Previous guidelines required South Korean troops to
issue warnings three times before opening fire.
The North fired an artillery barrage into disputed
inter-Korean waters in the Yellow Sea on August 9 after the
South ended its largest-ever anti-submarine exercise.
Military officials said the North fired about 130
shells, ignoring warnings from the South.
Most of the shells landed on the northern side of the
borderline but some fell on the southern side. South Korean
troops did not fire back.
Tensions have been high between the two countries
after the sinking of a South Korean warship in March with the
loss of 46 lives.
Seoul says a torpedo attack by a North Korean
submarine caused the loss of the Cheonan near disputed waters
off the western coast, an allegation that Pyongyang has