There is still a chance that North Korea will launch a military provocation to coincide with the presidential election in South Korea, Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin warned Thursday.
Kim was speaking after being briefed on North Korean military movements by the Third Army commander.
"The North could commit provocative acts to stir up fear of war among South Koreans before the election, and after the election it could launch a provocation to test and subdue the new government," Kim claimed.
"When gangsters threaten our lives and attempt to rob us of our property, we shouldn't hand over our money but confront them with a club and defeat them," he added. "If the North should provoke, that's how we'll respond."
Friday is the second anniversary of the North's shelling of Yeonpyeong Island and the South Korean military is staging a drill to prepare for small attacks on the northwesternmost islands. It will not be a live fire exercise.
On Wednesday, Pyongyang denounced the drill and threatened that the "ugly farce" will lead to "another sea of fire" on the island.
But there have been no unusual movements by the North Korean army.