New S Korean Top Military Official Vows to Retaliate Against Pyongyang's Attacks
10:24 20.08.2017(updated 15:34 20.08.2017)
Newly appointed chairman of the South Korean military Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) Jeong Kyeong-doo pledged on Sunday to "resolutely and strongly" respond to any of Pyongyang's provocations and attacks amid the escalating tensions on the Korean peninsula.
MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Jeong stressed he would focus his efforts on establishing a "full range of defense postures" as the current level of threat on the peninsula was "more serious than at any other time."
"If the enemy provokes, (our military) will retaliate resolutely and strongly to make it regret bitterly," Jeong said at the inauguration ceremony, as quoted by the Yonhap news agency.
He also vowed to start preparations for the deployment of the so-called three-axis defense platform, comprising of South Korea's Kill Chain preemptive strike system, the Korean Air and Missile Defense (KAMD), and the Korea Massive Punishment and Retaliation (KMPR) scheme. All of the elements are set to be put in operation by early 2020s, according to the media outlet.
Jeong, who had previously served as an Air Force chief of staff and a fighter jet pilot, replaced Army Gen. Lee Sun-jin, who retired after a 42-year service.
Jeong was nominated by South Korean President Moon Jae-in amid the recent aggravation of the situation on the Korean Peninsula due to Pyongyang's missile launches and nuclear tests, all conducted in violation of UN Security Council resolutions.
Tensions around Pyongyang's missile program have flared up in the recent weeks, following the adoption of the UN Security Council sanctions, which led to North Korea trading threats and warnings with the United States. Most notably, Pyongyang said it might consider an attack on the area near the US territory of Guam in the Western Pacific.
In June, China initiated a road map for the settlement of North Korean crisis, a so-called double freeze plan, which outlines a scenario where there is simultaneous cessation of North Korea's nuclear activity and US-South Korean military exercises. The initiative has been supported by Russia but rejected by the United States. North Korea has yet to issue a response to the proposal.
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