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South Korea Warns Pyongyang of 'Strong Response' to Further Provocations

RIA Novosti

12:19 13/10/2014

MOSCOW, October 13 (RIA Novosti) – South Korea has warned its Northern neighbor that it will pursue a "strong" response if it is provoked in a way that is similar to the recent exchange of fire, Reuters reports on Monday.

'It is a stern warning of a strong response in the event of further provocation,' Reuters quotes South Korean Defense Ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok as saying at a Monday briefing.

Seoul called the North Korean firing on Friday "a provocative act that had violated the truce suspending their 1950-53 war".

The two Koreas exchanged heavy fire after South Korean activists released big balloons filled with gas with 200,000 anti-Pyongyang leaflets attached to them on to the territory of North Korea. The campaign was authorized by Seoul.

In response, the North Korean authorities, have repeatedly urged Seoul to stop such activity and threatened to shell the area which the activists were launching their messages from.

'The leaflet-scattering operation ... was a premeditated and deliberate politically motivated provocation, perpetrated under the backstage wire-pulling of the US and the South Korean authorities,' Reuters quotes the North's KCNA news agency as saying.

On Monday, South Korean President Park Geun-hye reiterated her commitment to engage with the North, despite what she called 'the dual nature' of ties, saying the 'door was always open to dialogue'.

Following the launching of anti-Pyongyang leaflets, North Korea's state media said on Saturday that high-level talks with Seoul could be put off the table.

'Because of the irresponsible and provocative acts by the puppet regime [the South], the planned high-level meeting is all but scrapped,' The Telegraph quoted Pyongyang's state news provider Uriminzokkiri as reporting.

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