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World Briefing / South Korea

President says he won't back down

February 09, 2009|Times Wire Reports

South Korea's president said today that he has no intention of backing down to North Korea, which may be preparing to test-fire its longest-range missile and in recent weeks has threatened to reduce its neighbor to ashes.

Analysts do not expect a major conflict between the two nations but said the North's saber-rattling is aimed at pressuring Seoul to drop its hard-line policy and grabbing the attention of new President Obama.

President Lee Myung-bak has angered his destitute neighbor by ending what once had been a free flow of unconditional aid and instead tying the South's handout to progress the North makes toward ending its military threat.

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