Park Fears N.Korean Provocation Early This Year

Park Geun-hye Park Geun-hye

The purge of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's uncle Jang Song-taek will make Kim more vulnerable in the long run, President Park Geun-hye told CNN on Tuesday.

The execution may have helped Kim tighten his control further, but perhaps only temporarily. "I am concerned about deepening volatility on the Korean Peninsula and in the Northeast Asian region," Park added.

She also expressed worries that the North could launch provocations sometime between January and March. She said domestic and international assessments "speak to the gravity of the situation." "One thing that is very clear is that any provocations will be met very firmly. I cannot be clearer about that," she said.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning is upgrading computer security because the North is sending out emails to key South Korean officials in the foreign affairs and unification sector and is trying to hack small and medium-sized IT companies, according to a spokesman Tuesday.

englishnews@chosun.com / Jan. 15, 2014 09:38 KST