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N. Korea conducts artillery drill for maritime targets

Posted April. 26, 2017 07:17,   

Updated April. 26, 2017 07:21

North Korea has intensified tension by conducting a massive artillery drill in areas near Wonsan, Kangwon Province on Tuesday, the founding day of the North Korean People’s Army.

The South Korean military is gearing up preparation to counter the North’s possible surprise provocations with nuclear and missile test by keeping a close watch on related situations. According to the South Korean military authority, the North conducted a live fire drill by mobilizing its artillery forces including more than 300 to 400 units of long-range howitzers in areas around Wonsan on the day.

“The drill was conducted in a format in which the North Korean military dumps a massive volume of shells at the specific maritime targets,” a South Korean military source said. “It has been found that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attended the drill in person.”

“Considering the scale of artillery forces mobilized, the drill is believed to be the largest ever fire drill," another South Korean military source said.

The South Korea and U.S. military authorities also responded to the drill through a "power to power" tactic. The South Korean and the U.S. Navies conducted a joint tactical maritime maneuver and warship-based live fire drill by mobilizing the destroyer Wang Geon, the aegis destroyer USS Wayne Myer and others in waters in the East Sea and Yellow Sea on the day. Also, the nuclear submarine USS Michigan (SSGN-727 with a displacement of 18,000 tons) armed with more than 150 Tomahawk missiles with 1,500-kilomter range docked at Busan Port.

Meanwhile, the Yomiuri Shimbun and NHK of Japan reported on Tuesday that the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson fleet, which is moving northward to waters around the Korean Peninsula, and Japanese naval self-defense force’s frigates will engage in a joint drill in the East Sea. Japanese media outlets said it is unusual that the U.S. and Japanese naval forces conduct a joint drill in the East Sea.