A defence ministry spokesman said that one hour live fire exercise at Pocheon, 30 K.M. south of the tense land border with
start at 2.43 PM. It is the major ground-air joint fire drill of this year. North Korea
About 800 troops are participating including 30 K-1 tanks, 11 K-200 armored personnel carriers, two F-15K jets, four KF-16 jets, 36 K-9 artillery pieces, three multiple long-range rockets, four 500MD helicopters, three AH-1S Cobra helicopters, and other equipment. The navy is also launching a 4 day exercise off the east coast, which began Wednesday.
South Korea says its exercises are only self-protective purpose but tensions have been raised since November 23, when shelled a South Korean island near the challenged western sea border. The North said the shelling was in the reaction to a live fire drill on North Korea . Yeonpyeong Island
The South said that it had been performing such type artillery exercises for more than 37 years and the North was looking for a cause to attack. The South perform a revised drill on the same island on Monday with jet fighters and warships but North did not chase through with the danger to hit back.
Some experts say that South’s demonstration of force is for discouraging to North. Others said the hard-line regime had been told by close friend
China to workout restraint before a visit to by President Hu Jintao starting on January 19. Washington
The South’s government requested students and other civilians to observe the exercises. Kim Tae-Dong, a 70-year-old Internet businessman told the reporter “We are facing severe crises due to North Korea, So I came to see these air and ground exercises. “I would like to be aware and see the rank of
’s armed forces,” Kim said. South Korea
Another Korean said that when North Korean aggression will start, our army must be prepared for responding with force.
The South’s claims that the drills are routine were an attempt “to cover up the challenging and offensive nature of the exercises” the North’s official news agency said.
’s standards, the wording was relatively soft. In another aspect that apprehensions are easing, the South’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said it had lowered a military alert issued for frontline areas before and during Monday’s drill. North Korea
US, which has deployed 28,500 troops in South Korea, warned there was no motive for it to respond to the present exercises. North Korea