South Korea 'On Alert' for Possible North Attack

Anti-North Korea protester shouts as he holds the US and South Korean flags during a rally denouncing the North's recent announcement in Seoul, South Korea, April 24, 2012.
Anti-North Korea protester shouts as he holds the US and South Korean flags during a rally denouncing the North's recent announcement in Seoul, South Korea, April 24, 2012.

South Korea appears to be taking seriously the latest attack threat from North Korea.

Police say they have increased patrols around headquarters of nine conservative media outlets in Seoul after North Korea vowed to soon carry out a "special military action" on them by "unprecedented means and methods."

South Korea's government says it is concerned about Pyongyang's threat to reduce to ashes, in several minutes, the support base for the country's president, including several broadcasters and a leading daily newspaper, the Dong-a Ilbo.

Foreign ministry spokesman Cho Byung-je characterizes the latest threat from Pyongyang as “very dangerous and harsh.”

Cho says South Korea's government and military are strengthening their security postures and are on alert to prepare for any situation. He also warns that any military provocation by North Korea will be answered with a punishment by the South.

At the defense ministry, spokesman Kim Min-suk tells reporters he can say little about the possibility of fresh provocations by North Korea.

Kim says South Korean forces are monitoring the North's military but he cannot elaborate.

Officials in the South Korean government say there are no reports of any unusual military movements in the North.

That has led to speculation that the unique assault North Korea's military vows to carry out against the South could be nontraditional, such as cyber attacks on the government and media.

Kim Hung-kwang, who was a computer science professor at a North Korean university - and now heads a defectors' intellectual group - says Pyongyang has a proven capability for distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks via the Internet.

Kim says he anticipates North Korea will attempt something much more paralyzing than those previous attacks, such as taking down South Korean government internal computer systems. And as far as an attack on the South Korean media, he says, based on Monday's declared threat by Pyongyang, it will be something unexpected and unprecedented.

Tension has been high on the Korean peninsula since the sinking of a South Korean naval ship in the Yellow Sea and the shelling of one of its frontier islands in 2010.

North Korea has denied any involvement in the first incident but acknowledged the second attack, saying it was responding to the South's provocative military exercise in disputed waters.

The North has a long history of terrorist attacks against the South, including attempts to assassinate South Korean presidents.

In recent days Pyongyang's state media reported North Koreans rallied in the streets to demand South Korean president Lee Myung-bak be killed.

North Korea has accused Lee of the “unforgivable sin” of insulting the country while mourning was under way for its late leader, Kim Jong Il and then celebrating, this month, the centennial of the birth of the nation's founder, Kim Il Sung.

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Comment Sorting
by: Michael
April 25, 2012 6:01 AM
At these turning points, the words we speak often turn to mush. Nevertheless, we intend certain key-words to last forever: Peace

by: William
April 25, 2012 5:15 AM
If it takes N.K. three to four years each to assemble a multi stage missile that only fails on launch i don't see how they can wipe out the entire U.S. military with one blow, China is protecting madmen in north korea who issue threats on a daily basis and in doing so turn the world against them, So they should shut up and feed their people.

by: Klaus
April 25, 2012 12:25 AM
North Korea is not the same as Vietnam!

by: Nguyen Ai Quoc
April 24, 2012 7:01 PM
Ethiopia, Living in Canada but you seem to know nothing about the ground situation, the cruel policy of mass killing on its own people implemented by inhumane state, North Korea. Only one rocket launch which recently carried out by this rogue state, could feed its entire hunger population but they never care so how come you thought this animal state would be lenient to anyone else. So pity for you, poor man.

by: Ethiopia
April 24, 2012 8:52 AM
As Ethiopian immigrant living in Canada, I always love my Country Ethiopia and I consider Eritrea is the part of Ethiopia. I always angry, why the Two Families, Ethiopia and Eritrea fought the wars. I don't want anyone to die from both sides. Why they fought was, because they were armed and pushed by Foreigners, who want our people to die for their interests.

I hope, North/South Korea will treat each other as One big Family. They both must not listen Foreign trouble makers.

by: TODD
April 24, 2012 5:07 AM

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