SEOUL, May 11 (Yonhap) -- South Korea will mercilessly counterattack any North Korean provocations, Defense Minister Han Min-koo said Monday following North Korea's underwater ballistic missile test-firing last week.
On Saturday, North Korea claimed it successfully carried out an underwater test-fire of a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) in what is believed to be the country's first test-fire of a ballistic missile from a submarine.
Intelligence officials said it would pose a fresh threat to the security of the Korean Peninsula.
"(South Korea) will completely sever the chain of provocations by mercilessly dealing with any provocations," Han said in an emergency security meeting between the government and the ruling Saenuri Party.
The meeting was called to discuss recent provocations by the North following the claimed SLBM test-firing.
"Retribution for provocations is an order from the people," Han said. "Our military will stand with solid military readiness and make flat-out efforts for citizens to lead their everyday lives at ease."
The South Korean military is maintaining a powerful deterrence posture based on its joint defense arrangement with the U.S. against North Korea's unexpected military provocations, Han said, adding that plans are also in the making to come up with further countermeasures for the future.
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