INCHEON, South Korea --
South Korea's defense minister resigned on Thursday over the handling of the deadly clash with North Korea.Hours before Defense Minister Kim Tae-young's resignation, lawmakers had lashed out at the government, claiming officials were unprepared for Tuesday's attack and that the military response to the North's barrage was too slow. Even those in South Korea President Lee Myung-bak's ruling party demanded Kim's dismissal as well as those of military leaders and some presidential aides.
Lee accepted Kim's resignation and a new defense chief will be announced Friday, presidential chief of staff Yim Tae-hee said.
Lee is vowing to increase troop strength on the island where four were killed in this week's shelling.
South Korea and the U.S. have reaffirmed plans for joint military maneuvers in the Yellow Sea that will include a U.S. aircraft carrier. They begin on Sunday.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.