South Korea Eases Retaliation Rules
President walks tightrope over response to attacks
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Nov 26, 2010 11:00 AM CST
South Korean navy ships sail near the Yeonpyeong Island, South Korea, Friday, Nov. 26, 2010.   (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – After declaring plans to boost defenses, South Korea announced a shift in military policy to make retaliation easier, the New York Times reports. New rules will allow South Korea’s military a more forceful response to any attack from Pyongyang. But with the public largely opposed to a military response, President Lee Myung-bak is in a tight spot.

While Lee has been under fire for a series of muted responses to North Korean aggression, many South Koreans worry that retaliation could be dangerous. “North Korea has nothing to lose, while we have everything to lose,” said an expert in Seoul. “Lee Myung-bak has no choice but to soften his tone to keep this country peaceful.”