February 05, 2023
Opinion

Seoul risks losing moral high ground with tit-for-tat retaliation to North Korea

Rules of engagement allow for self-defense but not revenge, and knowing difference is key for international support

The recent intrusion of five North Korean drones into ROK airspace has infuriated South Koreans, and calls for retaliatory action are high.

On the day of the breach, the ROK military flew its own unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) over the inter-Korean border to photograph DPRK sites. And in the aftermath of the incident, President Yoon Suk-yeol ordered officials to “punish and retaliate” against any North Korean provocations without fearing its nuclear weapons.