US, SKorea ready to respond to NKorea provocation

W.G.Ewald

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US, SKorea ready to respond to NKorea provocation - News - Boston.com
WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. defense chief expressed relief Wednesday that North Korea has not followed through on a threat to launch a military strike in response to South Korean activists floating anti-Pyongyang leaflets across the border.

Leon Panetta said the U.S. and its ally South Korea would continue to watch for provocations from the North, and would be prepared to respond if they take place.

Panetta was speaking at a news conference following security talks at the Pentagon with South Korean Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin that focused on North Korea.

The U.S. has nearly 30,000 troops on the southern side of the divided Korean Peninsula, a legacy of the 1950-53 Korean War that ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty.

South Korean activists, mostly North Korean defectors, on Monday floated balloons carrying tens of thousands of leaflets critical of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The activists eluded South Korean police trying to stop them because of the North Korean threats.

South Korea has pledged to retaliate if attacked.
 

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