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S. Korea refers to N. Korean military as 'our enemy' in troop education materials

All News 09:34 May 30, 2022

SEOUL, May 30 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's defense ministry has distributed troop education materials that refer to North Korea's military and its regime as "our enemy," officials said Monday, in a reflection of the conservative Yoon Suk-yeol administration's tough security stance.

The preceding liberal Moon Jae-in administration avoided using the expression amid its push for inter-Korean dialogue. But the Yoon government has vowed to take a hard-line stance on the North's evolving nuclear and missile threats.

"North Korea's provocations are security threats facing us, and as long as such security threats continue, the North's military and its regime are our enemy," the materials for "military spirit education" read.

The military distributed the materials on May 9, days after Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup told a parliamentary confirmation hearing that the North is an "evident" enemy, given its nuclear and missile threats.

In the 2019 materials, the South called the North "real military threats" and stressed the need to secure a "posture and capabilities to respond strongly and sternly should the North carry out provocations or hostile acts."

"The minister has told the National Assembly that he would ensure clear education will be given to troops about the North Korean military and the regime being our enemy," a ministry official said on condition of anonymity. "In line with the thrust of his remarks, we have made the materials."

The ministry is known to be soliciting public opinion about the idea of reviving the reference to the North as an enemy in its defense white paper.

This file photo taken May 17, 2022, shows Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup speaking during a parliamentary session at the National Assembly in Seoul. (Pool photo) (Yonhap)

sshluck@yna.co.kr
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