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S. Korea, U.S, military chiefs vow strong response to N. Korea provocation

The military chiefs of South Korea and the United States resolved on Saturday to launch powerful counterattacks against additional provocations by North Korea, the military said as inter-Korean tension soars over the North's threats of further attacks.

South Korean Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) Adm. Choi Yoon-hee and his U.S. counterpart Gen. Martin Dempsey also agreed to seek various measures "to deter North Korea from launching additional threats," an official from the South Korean JCS said, citing a phone conversation held earlier in the day.

The two military chiefs were also on the same page regarding the current security status of the Korean Peninsula, the official said.

"The U.S. military is ready to provide any support in case of an emergency situation on the Korean Peninsula, for the sake of peace and security of the Republic of Korea," Dempsey was quoted as vowing during the phone conversation. 

The U.S. military chief said he will closely cooperate with the South Korean JSC as well as the commander of U.S. Forces Korea stationed in South Korea, Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, as part of deterrence efforts, the South Korean official said. 

The allies' have been tightening their combined combat efforts since the land mine blast in the southern part of the demilitarized zone (DMZ) on Aug. 4, which maimed two South Korean soldiers.

Ending an 11-year hiatus, South Korea resumed anti-North Korea propaganda broadcasts along the border in retaliation of the attack which was blamed on the communist country.

The North has denied the charge, and threatened to take "strong military action" if the South does not stop the broadcasts and remove all broadcasting facilities by 5 p.m. on Saturday.

As the deadline approaches, South Korea put its front-line troops on the highest-level of vigilance, saying the broadcasts will continue if the North does not accept responsibility and apologize for the land mine attack.

The propaganda campaign is believed to be posing a great threat to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and his leadership, who dread the inflow of outside information and criticism. (Yonhap)
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