South Korean President Pledges "Strong Response" Against North

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South Korean President Park Geun-hye pledges there will be strong and swift military response to any North Korean provocation, Japan continues to condemn Pyongyang's military threats.

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South Korean President Park Geun-hye has promised a "strong response" to any North Korean aggression - as tensions escalate on the peninsula.

[Park Geun-Hye, South Korean President]
"If there is any provocation against South Korea and its people, there should be a strong response in initial combat without any political considerations."

North Korea has issued multiple warnings of attacks on US and South Korean targets - to which the US has responded with a show of military hardware.

At the weekend, thousands of North Koreans held a rally to support the country as it said it was entering a state of war with the South.

North Korea has been angered both by UN sanctions imposed after its nuclear test in February and joint US-South Korea military drills.

But few analysts think the North would risk full-blown conflict.

[Kim Hyung-Seok, South Korean Unification Ministry Spokesman]:
"The ideal future of the inter-Korean relations is that both Koreas move forward to the future of co-prosperity and peace. And it (the Kaesong Joint Industrial zone) is a very important and symbolic project, which can become one of the routes for the future."

And despite Pyongyang cutting a military hotline -- the last official direct link with Seoul -- it's business as usual.

Workers from South Korea continue to cross into the industrial park, a key money maker for the North.

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