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FM: Security situation on Korean Peninsula becomes 'very grave'
SEOUL, March 11 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's new Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se said Monday that the security situation on the Korean Peninsula has become "very grave" as tensions rise over North Korea's threats of war.

   "The security situation on the Korean Peninsula for now is very grave as the unpredictability surrounding North Korea is rising following its third nuclear test," Yun said in his inauguration speech as he officially took up the post.

   "However, my aim is to turn this era of confrontation and mistrust into an era of trust and cooperation with North Korea," Yun said.
North Korea has ramped up its bellicose rhetoric after the U.N. Security Council adopted a tougher new resolution to punish the North for conducting its third nuclear test last month.

   Escalating its war of words, North Korea cut off a Red Cross hotline with South Korea earlier in the day and Seoul and Washington kicked off their annual joint military drills on the Korean Peninsula.

   kdh@yna.co.kr
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