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Gates says US prevented South Korea air strike on North

Published on Jan 15, 2014 11:10 AM

SEOUL (AFP) - South Korea declined to comment on Wednesday on revelations that the United States talked it down from launching a retaliatory air strike on North Korea in 2010.

The claims were made in the newly published memoir of former US defence secretary Robert Gates, in which he also describes former South Korean president Roh Moo Hyun as "probably a little bit crazy".

The 2010 incident followed the North's surprise shelling of a South Korean border island in November of that year.

The attack triggered what Mr Gates labelled a "very dangerous crisis", with the South Korean government of then-president Lee Myung Bak initially insisting on a robust military response.

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