South Korea’s defence minister designate Kim Kwan-jin has warned North Korea not to take further military action, but dismissed the chances of full-scale war as slim.

Kim is reported to have said at a parliamentary confirmation hearing that South Korean jets will bomb North Korea if it stages attacks similar to the recent deadly artillery barrage.

“In case the enemy attacks our territory and people again, we will thoroughly retaliate to ensure that the enemy cannot provoke again. We would definitely use the air force to strike back,” Kim said.

“Therefore…if we respond harshly to a further provocative act, it would be difficult for the North to escalate it into a full-scale war.”