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Seoul doesn't rule out NK terror attack in downtown areas

April 7, 2011 - 21:21 By 신용배

 North Korea could stage a terror attack in downtown areas in South Korea, Seoul's defense chief said Thursday, as South Korea keeps its troops vigilant against possible North Korean provocations.

   Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin told lawmakers that the North could plot a possible terrorist attack by taking advantage of lax defense preparedness in South Korea's downtown areas.

   No terrorist attacks have occurred in Seoul since 1968 when 31 North Korean commandos infiltrated Seoul in a failed assassination attempt on then President Park Chung-hee.

   Kim also said the military holds regular training exercises in four areas that are home to nuclear power plants.

   Kim made the assessment to lawmakers, though he did not give any further details.

   The warning comes a week after a bipartisan group of U.S.

congressmen submitted legislation to re-designate North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism for a series of provocations.

   North Korea torpedoed a South Korean warship and shelled a South Korean border island last year, killing 50 people, mostly soldiers, and plunging inter-Korean relations to their lowest level since the 1950-53 Korean War.

   The Obama administration said Tuesday it has not yet found enough evidence to relist North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism.

   North Korea has a track record of terrorist attacks against South Korea, including the 1987 bombing of a South Korean airliner near Myanmar that killed all 115 passengers aboard.

   The attack prompted Washington to put Pyongyang on its terrorism blacklist, but the United States removed the North from the list in 2008 to facilitate the talks on ending the North's nuclear weapons programs. (Yonhap News)

This 2007 file photo shows that soldiers inspect an unidentified explosive discovered at a construction site in Seoul. (The Korea Herald)



김관진 "北 도심테러 가능성 배제 안해"

대정부질문 답변.."원전 있는 4개지역서 주기적 훈련"

    (서울=연합뉴스) 김관진 국방부 장관은 7일 북한의 후속 도발 가 능성과 관련, "도발 위협이 많은 곳은 서북해협이지만, 북한이 우리 대비가  허술하 다는 것을 이용하기 때문에 도심지역 테러도 배제하지 않고 있다"고 말했다.

    김 장관은 이날 국회 외교.통일.안보 대정부 질문에 출석, "국방부가 상정하고 있는 북한의 가능성 있는 도발은 어디로 보느냐"는 한나라당 황진하 의원의 질문에 이같이 답변했다.

    특히 그는 "원전이 있는 지역이 총 4개 지역으로, 향토사단장을 중심으로  주기 적 훈련을 하고 있다"고 강조했다.

    김 장관은 이어 "지난해 천안함과 연평도 포격도발 사건 이후 군이 주요지역 도 발에 대비해 가용화력과 지원화력, 대응태세에 대한 지속적인 훈련을 벌이고 있으며 정보 분석도 하고 있다"고 덧붙였다.