SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea's president on Monday said he won't let North Korea "covet even an inch of our territory."
Lee Myung-bak said in a New Year's speech to the country that the South has no choice but to aggressively boost its defenses after a Nov. 23 North Korean attack on a front-line island that killed four.
He said South Korea must treat that attack as the United States treated the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and "overhaul our defense posture."
Lee added that "peace cannot be obtained without a price" and promised that any North Korea provocation "will be met with stern, strong responses."
Lee was severely criticized after the North's artillery attack for responding too slowly and too weakly.