S Korea begins live-fire artillery drill in waters near Yeonpyeong Island

13:48, December 20, 2010      

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South Korea began Monday a live- firing drill from a western border island shelled last month by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) despite the latter's repeated vows of counterattack, the Joint Chiefs of Staff in Seoul said.

The drill started at 14:30 local time (0530 GMT), an official from press office of the ministry told Xinhua in a phone call, adding that it will "end soon".

The one-day live-fire exercise, conducted in waters near a disputed western sea border with the DPRK, will "not last for too long," a JCS official told Xinhua.

South Korea has reportedly deployed a guided-missile Aegis destroyer and put fighter jets on standby in anticipation of potential counterattacks by Pyongyang, which recently vowed "self- defense blows" against South Korea's artillery exercises.

The drill comes amid rising tension following the DPRK's artillery bombardment on Nov. 23 of the South Korean border island of Yeonpyeong, which killed two marines and two civilians.

Source: Xinhua


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