SEOUL, South Korea – South Korea's president said Thursday that North Korea's nuclear test has not shaken the military power balance between the two sides, and that the North cannot defeat the South even with atomic bombs, a news report said.
"South Korea's military strength is enough to balance" North Korea's, the Yonhap news agency quoted President Roh Moo-hyun as saying during a meeting with South Koreans living in Sydney, Australia.
"We can say that we have an edge in the balance," Roh, who was on a visit to Australia, was quoted as saying.
He said the United States provides South Korea with a nuclear deterrence, and that relations between the two allies are good.
Roh has made similar comments before, in an apparent effort to dispel security concerns after North Korea tested a nuclear device Oct. 9.
"North Korea cannot win if it goes to war with South Korea. Even if it has nuclear weapons, it may inflict fatal damage, but cannot win," Roh was quoted as saying. "A country doesn't go to war with a country that it cannot defeat."
Roh wrapped up his three-day state visit to Australia later Thursday, then headed for New Zealand to begin a four-day visit there.