S Korea urges stronger military as tensions grow

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -- South Korea's president is calling for a stronger military amid growing tensions over North Korea's nuclear program.

Lee Myung-bak says a strong military is necessary to "unconditionally defeat any provocation."

Today's comments followed a military firepower demonstration involving 2,000 troops, tanks, fighter jets and U.S. Apache attack helicopters. The country's defense ministry says the demonstration was designed to mark the military's founding 60 years ago and had nothing to do with nuclear tensions.

North Korea has ordered U.N. nuclear monitors to leave the country this week. The North says it will reinsert nuclear material into a plutonium-producing facility within a week. The country says it's reassembling its nuclear capability to protest the United States' refusal to remove it from a list of terrorism-sponsoring countries.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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