Mon, Dec 13, 2010 - Page 5 News List

South Korea to continue live-fire drill off all coasts

AFP, SEOUL

South Korea will continue to stage live-fire military drills along its coastline of the Korean Peninsula following North Korea’s deadly attack on one of its islands last month, an official said yesterday, but a drill to be staged at 27 venues from today until Sunday will not take place near the contested Yellow Sea border with the North, the spokesman for the Joint Chiefs of Staff said.

“This week’s drill will start on Monday as scheduled ... we have no plan to conduct it at the frontier islands,” the spokesman said, referring to the South’s five islands near the tense maritime border with the North.

One of the islands, Yeonpyeong, was the scene of a deadly shelling attack on Nov. 23 that killed four South Koreans and sparked a regional crisis.

Since the bombardment, the first of a civilian area since the Korean War, Seoul has staged a flurry of military exercises, including a major joint naval drill with the US, in a show of force directed at Pyongyang.

A drill at one of the frontline islands was planned last week but canceled due to bad weather, the Joint Chiefs of Staff said.

The North threatened to deal “merciless retaliatory blows” at the military build-up in the South, calling it “a declaration of an all-out war.”

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