SKorean plans live-fire drill to send message to North

South Korea announces largest ever artillery exercise close to border with North Korea

SKorean plans live-fire drill to send message to North

World Bulletin / News Desk

South Korea's defense ministry revealed Thursday that the country's military would hold a massive live-fire artillery drill close to the inter-Korean border later in the afternoon.

Billed as the South's biggest exercise of its kind to date, the drill appeared to be a clear message aimed at dissuading any North Korean provocations ahead of the first anniversary of a tense exchange of fire between the two sides.

Saturday will mark a year since the North fired artillery rounds close to a South Korean border unit -- Thursday's drill was scheduled to begin at 5.04 p.m. (0904GMT), which is exactly the same time that the South fired back last year.

"Some 300 artillery pieces from 49 artillery battalions are planning to take part in the live-fire exercise," a ministry statement announced.

Pyongyang regularly condemns military exercises in South Korea -- especially those involving the United States, as will take place later this month.

With extra American nuclear bombers recently arriving in Guam, the North's official KCNA news agency carried a foreign ministry statement Wednesday warning the U.S. that its Pacific bases could "face ruin in the face of all-out and substantial attack".

Pyongyang justifies its own development of nuclear weapons -- in defiance of the United Nations -- by pointing to the American military presence in the region, including nearly 30,000 troops in the South.

North Korea has tested a series of ballistic missiles since drawing strengthened U.N. sanctions following its fourth ever nuclear test in January.

Last Mod: 18 Ağustos 2016, 09:42
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