South Korea must unite to survive, says President Lee

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SEOUL. December 27. KAZINFORM South Korean President Lee Myung-bak has told his nation it must unite in the face of military aggression from the North; Kazinform refers to BBC News.

Mr Lee said in a national radio address that what was at stake was "the survival of this nation".

He added: "If [we] are afraid of war, we can never prevent war."

The Korean peninsula has been tense since the North shelled the Southern island of Yeonpyeong last month, killing four people.

On Sunday, it was announced that South Korean and Chinese defence ministers would meet in Beijing in February amid the rising tension.

In his broadcast on Monday, Mr Lee said: "We can't afford to have division of you against me in the face of national security, because what's at stake is our very lives and the survival of this nation."

Mr Lee said divisions of opinion after the North's alleged sinking of a Southern warship in March with the loss of 46 sailors had led to the North's attack on Yeonpyeong island.

He said: "It is when we show solidarity as one that the North dares not challenge us. Their will to challenge breaks."

Mr Lee added: "We have clearly realised the fact that only strong counteractions to military provocations are able to deter war and safeguard peace"; Kazinform cites BBC News.

See www.bbc.co.uk for full version.

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