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Originally published May 12, 2013 at 6:07 AM | Page modified May 12, 2013 at 6:08 AM

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Gates worries about escalation of Korean tension

A former Pentagon chief says he worries that North Korea's young leader and his generals don't realize there's been a "dramatic change" in public opinion in South Korea in how to respond to belligerent actions by the North.

The Associated Press

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WASHINGTON —

A former Pentagon chief says he worries that North Korea's young leader and his generals don't realize there's been a "dramatic change" in public opinion in South Korea in how to respond to belligerent actions by the North.

Robert Gates says that after many years of "swallowing provocation," the South Koreas "are not prepared to take that anyone."

Gates says that creates a situation where the next act of provocation "could result in an escalation and the situation getting out of control."

Gates tells CBS' "Face the Nation" that he worries that the North's young leader, Kim Jong Un (kim jawng oon), "does not have an understanding of that."

He says that while Chinese do have influence with Kim, "they don't have control and that worries me."

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