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Twitter Send 2010/05/28 15:54 KST
(LEAD) S. Korea's military reviewing further measures against North


SEOUL, May 28 (Yonhap) -- South Korea is preparing to take additional measures against North Korea as it sees the possibility of limited violence by the North amid escalating tensions over Pyongyang's sinking of a Seoul warship, a senior military official said Friday.

   "Following the rhetoric of threats, we expect that North Korea could actually carry out a military, non-military provocation," Major Gen. Ryu Je-seung, a senior official at the South Korean defense ministry's policy and planning division, told retired generals and admirals.

   "So, our military is preparing to take additional military, non-military measures depending on North Korea's response and attitude," Ryu said.

   An attack by the North would be possible if the South sets up loudspeakers along their heavily armed border and starts blaring anti-Pyongyang broadcasts, Ryu said, adding it will take some two weeks to set up the loudspeakers. Ryu didn't elaborate on what the South's additional measures would be.

   Ryu confirmed that South Korea and the U.S. raised their alert system on North Korea, called watch condition, to the second-highest level on Wednesday.

   Military tensions on the Korean Peninsula have escalated since an international investigation concluded last week that a North Korean submarine fired a torpedo and sank the South's corvette Cheonan near the tense Yellow Sea border on March 26, killing 46 crew members.

   South Korea announced Monday a flurry of military, diplomatic and economic measures to punish the North for the sinking, one of the worst provocations by the North since the 1950-53 Korean War.

   Military measures included a resumption of psychological warfare operations, joint naval drills with the United States and banning the North's ships from sailing through the South's waters.

   Since Monday, South Korea's military has started anti-North radio broadcasts. The four-hour program titled "Voice of Freedom" is being aired three times a day.

   North Korea, repeated its denial in the sinking, and threatened a war if it was punished.

   As the South staged its own anti-submarine drill off its west coast Thursday, Pyongyang's military warned it would scrap all inter-Korean accords to prevent accidental naval clashes and block border traffic.

   Banning cross-border traffic would endanger the safety of some 800 South Korean managers and employees at an inter-Korean industrial park in the North's border town of Kaesong, the last-remaining major economic project between the two sides, said analysts.

   On Saturday, Seoul's top military commanders will hold a meeting to discuss countermeasures against further aggression by North Korea, military officials said.

   The meeting agenda is expected to include Seoul's response if South Korean civilians at the Kaesong complex are taken hostage, according to the officials.

   The meeting will be led by Lee Sang-eui, chairman of South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff, the officials said.

   kdh@yna.co.kr
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