SEOUL, South Korea – President Lee Myung-bak's choice for new defense minister says South Korean jets will bomb North Korea should Pyongyang stage another attack.
The tough words come as Lee's government suffers criticism that the response to a deadly North Korean artillery barrage of a South Korean island last week was weak.
Lee's nominee, Kim Kwan-jin, told a parliamentary confirmation hearing that any North Korean aggression will result in airstrikes. He says South Korea will use all its combat capabilities to retaliate.
Kim says it will be difficult for North Korea to conduct a full-scale war because of its weak economy and worries over the success of a plan to transfer power from leader Kim Jong Il to his young, untested son, Kim Jong Un.