S.Korean Army Chief Quits Amid Tension with Pyongyang

South Korea's army chief resigned Tuesday over a controversial property investment, at a time of high tensions with North Korea following its deadly artillery attack on a border island last month.

The departure of General Hwang Eui-Don is a further blow to the South's military, widely criticized for a perceived feeble response to the North's bombardment, which triggered international alarm.

Pyongyang's newly disclosed uranium enrichment program has also sparked fears it could produce more material to make nuclear bombs.

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, at a meeting Monday with his visiting North Korean counterpart Pak Ui-Chun, expressed "deep concern" about the new capability, Moscow's foreign ministry said.

Hwang stepped down following media reports that he had profited unfairly from the property deal, a claim he denies.

But he judged it inappropriate to stay in his post at a time when he must lead reform of the army, a defense ministry spokesman told Agence France Presse.

The bombardment of Yeonpyeong island, near the disputed Yellow Sea border, killed four people including two civilians. It was the first attack on a civilian area in the South since the 1950-53 war.

Source: Agence France Presse

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