S Korean military to conduct live-fire drills Monday

08:40, December 20, 2010      

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South Korean marines patrol on Yeonpyeong Island December 19, 2010. South Korean military to carry out live-fire military drills in the sea near Yeontyeong Island on Monday, a Defense Ministry spokesman told Xinhua. (Xinhua/AFP)



South Korea will conduct a live-fire drill Monday from a western border island shelled last month by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) in Seoul said.

Residents of Yeonpyeong island were told to take shelter ahead of the imminent drill, which officials here said the live-fire drill was part of routine exercises suspended after the DPRK's deadly artillery bombardment on Nov. 23 on the island of Yeongpyeong.

The exercise is likely to be held between 11 a.m. and noon, Seoul's Yonhap News Agency said, citing unidentified sources.

The DPRK, claiming its recent shelling was for its self-defense, railed against the planned firing exercise and warned of "self- defensive blows".

Pyongyang never acknowledged a disputed maritime border near Yeonpyeong, unilaterally drawn by the U.S.-led United Nations military forces at the end of the 1950-53 Korean War. The two Koreas have had fatal naval skirmishes near the sea border, called the Northern Limit Line.

Representatives from the Armistice Commission and the United Nations Command are expected to watch the drill, according to local reports.



Source: Xinhua


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