South Korea’s Defense Ministry has referred to the North as “an enemy” in educational materials distributed among its troops in a move that reflects Seoul’s toughening stance on Pyongyang, the Yonhap News Agency reported on Monday, citing South Korean officials.
“North Korea’s provocations are security threats facing us, and as long as such security threats continue, the North’s military and its regime are our enemy,” the South’s materials for “military spirit education” read.
Last week, South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol, who assumed office in early May, said in an interview with CNN that the age of appeasing North Korea is over. His comment apparently reflects a shift from the preceding liberal Moon Jae-in administration, which avoided such expressions as it pushed for closer inter-Korean ties.
The South Korean military distributed the materials on May 9, following a speech by the nation’s new defense minister, Lee Jong-sup, at a parliamentary hearing where he called the North an “evident” enemy, citing especially its recent missile launches and the “nuclear threat” it poses.