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S. Korea's defense ministry dismisses DPRK war threats


15:21, March 12, 2013

SEOUL, March 12 (Xinhua) -- South Korea's defense ministry on Tuesday dismissed the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) 's repeated threat of military action as "psychological tactics" meant to pressure South Korea and the United States.

"North Korea (DPRK) has been consistently issuing rhetorical threats warning of provocations," defense ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok said in a briefing, calling such threats "an attempt to put psychological pressure" on South Korea.

"(The move is) seen as an attempt to shore up its domestic support and pressure South Korea and the United States into opting for a change in their North Korea policy," Kim added.

While the DPRK is trying to create a "war-like" atmosphere, there currently is no indication that the country is preparing for additional nuclear or missile tests, the spokesman told reporters.

The remarks came amid heightened tension on the Korean Peninsula as Seoul and Washington pressed ahead with the planned military exercise Pyongyang denounced as a pretext for northward invasion.

The DPRK, hit by a fresh round of United Nations sanctions over its third nuclear test last month, has vowed to nullify all non- aggression treaties with the South and declared invalid the 1953 armistice that ended the Korean War.

South Korean authorities have repeatedly pledged to immediately retaliate if attacked by the northern neighbor.

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