S. Korea resumes live-fire drills following NK provocations

Jun 27, 2024, 09:30 am

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A Spike missile is launched during the South Korean Marine Corps’ full-scale live-fire on the western border island of Yeonpyeong on June 26, 2024./ Source: Yonhap

AsiaToday reporter Ji Hwan-hyuk

South Korean Marine Corps conducted drills on the northwestern border islands on Wednesday. It was the first live-fire drill in the region in nearly seven years, following Seoul’s decision to suspend the 2018 inter-Korean military agreement. 

Troops from the 6th Marine Brigade under the Northwest Islands Defense Command fired more than 290 live rounds into the sea. The drill involved mobilizing K-9 self-propelled howitzers, Chunmoo multiple rocket launch systems, and Spike anti-tank missiles.

The drills took place after the South Korean government fully suspended the effects of the 2018 inter-Korean military agreement intended to reduce tensions after the North jammed GPS signals along the border and launched hundreds of trash-filled balloons. The Marine Corps last conducted live-fire drills on the islands in August 2017. 

The drills are being conducted in response to North Korea’s repeated provocations. Earlier in the morning, North Korea had test-fired intermediate-range ballistic missile. The missile was launched at about 5:30 a.m. and was aimed toward the North’s eastern waters before the failure, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said. Missile fragments were scattered in the water up to 250 kilometers from the launch site. The JCS said it believes the weapon was a solid-fueled hypersonic missile, and the launch generated more smoke than normal launches, possibly because of an engine fault. 

North Korea sent trash-filled balloons for two consecutive days from Monday to Tuesday. On Monday, more than 350 balloons were launched against the South, and on Tuesday night, more than 250 balloons were sent. Nearly 600 trash-filled balloons were sent across the border, and about 200 flew to northern Gyeonggi Province and Seoul.

Nuclear envoys of South Korea, the United States and Japan discussed coordination efforts following the North’s missile launch. Lee Jun-il, director general for Korean Peninsula policy, shared the assessment on the latest missile launch, with his US and Japanese counterparts, Jung Pak and Yukiya Hamamoto, respectively. The three sides condemned the North’s ballistic missile launch as a clear violation of multiple UN Security Council resolutions and said they pose a serious threat to peace and security on the Korean Peninsula and the international community. Based pm the South Korea-U.S. alliance and South Korea-U.S.-Japan security cooperation, the three sides agreed to sternly respond to North Korean provocations and threats.

#South Korea #drill #provocation 
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