Nov 26, 2010


South Korean President Lee Myung-bak Named New Defense Minister

  • Nov 26, 2010
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  • South Korean President Lee Myung-bak has named a new defense minister on Friday to replace the former minister Kim Tae-young who resigned on Thursday amid heavy criticism due to North Korea's sinking of a warship in March and Tuesday's deadly shelling of an inhabited island which killed four people. S. Korea's government nominated Mr. Kim Kwan Jin as defense minister, a Blue House media official said.  

    Also on Friday, the American commander of United Nations Command, General Walter L. Sharp, visited the island of Yeonpyeong to speak with military commanders and observe the damage caused by the North's attack.  

    He called for the North to refrain from more attacks and meet with the U.N. Command immediately to discuss the incident.

    The North's state Korean Central News Agency turned up the rhetoric Friday, saying joint South Korea - U.S. drills are a reckless plan by "trigger-happy elements" aimed at North Korea.  Pyongyang has used such language frequently in the past to condemn military exercises in South Korea.

    Fresh artillery fire was heard in the North Friday, but a spokesman for the South's Joint Chiefs of Staff said no projectiles landed on South Korean territory.

    Two South Korean marines and two civilians were killed and at least 18 people were wounded in the attack on Yeonpyeong near the disputed border in the Yellow Sea.

    South Korea said Thursday it is beefing up military forces on the islands near the Yellow Sea border with North Korea.  Officials also say they will revise rules of military engagement to permit a more aggressive reply to future attacks. 

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