The US has deployed stealth fighter jets in the region as tensions escalate
"If there is any provocation against South Korea and its people, there should be a strong response in initial combat without any political considerations," President Park Geun-hye said at a meeting with senior defense and security officials, according to her office.
Her comments came after North Korea rattled off fresh volleys of bombastic rhetoric over the weekend, declaring that it had entered a "state of war" with the South and labeling the U.S. mainland a "boiled pumpkin," vulnerable to attack.
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