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(2nd LD) Yoon says N.K.'s recent artillery firing a violation of inter-Korean military agreement

Defense 11:44 March 22, 2022

(ATTN: UPDATES with more remarks by Yoon in last 5 paras; CHANGES photo)
By Lee Haye-ah

SEOUL, March 22 (Yonhap) -- President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol said Tuesday that North Korea's recent artillery firing was a violation of an inter-Korean military tension reduction agreement.

Yoon made the remark during a meeting with members of his transition team, two days after South Korea's military said North Korea fired four shots from multiple rocket launchers into the Yellow Sea.

President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol speaks while presiding over a meeting with key members of his transition team at its office in Seoul on March 22, 2022. (Pool photo) (Yonhap)

"Isn't it a violation of the Sept. 19 (agreement)?" he said. "It's a clear violation."

Yoon was referring to a deal signed by the two Koreas following an inter-Korean summit in 2018 under which they agreed to halt all hostile activity that could lead to military tensions.

"(The firing) was the 11th this year, but wasn't it the first involving a multiple rocket launcher?" he added. "I ask you to manage the current security situation seamlessly."

Yoon was elected on March 9 after taking a hard-line stance on North Korea and security issues.

He has suggested the need to preemptively strike North Korea in the event of an imminent threat and pledged to deploy additional units of the U.S. THAAD antimissile system in South Korea.

Yoon also instructed the transition team to quickly come up with measures to rescue small merchants and self-employed people from financial difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said he will request this year's second supplementary budget aimed at providing COVID-19 relief.

The president-elect called on the team to prepare a scientific antivirus regime to put into effect immediately after the launch of his administration, noting that the spread of COVID-19 has not reached its peak.

Yoon also instructed the officials to thoroughly review the effects of the Ukraine crisis on the economy and supply chains, and come up with action plans for both the current and next administrations.

Yoon spoke further about ways to grow the economy, such as through policies to improve productivity of industries and matching policies for education and labor reform.

He also cautioned against accepting "ultra-low growth" as the basis of the economy.

"I believe it will be very difficult to resolve issues of polarization without rapid growth," he said. "I think this is the most important issue."

President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol (C) presides over a meeting with key members of his transition team at its office in Seoul on March 22, 2022. (Pool photo) (Yonhap)

hague@yna.co.kr
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