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NK Threatens `Physical Reponse` to Naval Drills

Posted August. 04, 2010 12:04,   


North Korea threatened a physical response against South Korea Tuesday if Seoul conducts naval firing drills in the Yellow Sea near the western inter-Korean border.

The North’s Korean Central News Agency quoted the Stalinist country’s military as saying, “The naval firing drills by the belligerent puppet army will mobilize land, naval and air attack methods in waters near the islands of Baengnyeong, Daecheong and Yeonpyeong in August, and are explicit acts of military aggression and reckless political provocations to stick to the illicit and unlawful Northern Limit Line.”

“Responding to fire with fire is the unwavering determination and firm commitment of our military and people,” the North said. “We issue a prior warning to all civilian vessels including fishing boats not to enter naval firing zones.”

To this, the South Korean military said, “The drill is a defensive exercise being conducted within our sovereign waters,” adding, “We will conduct the exercise in the Yellow Sea as scheduled.”

To run Thursday through Monday, the joint drill will have the South Korean Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines take part. More than 20 warships including a 4,500-ton Korean destroyer (KDX-Ⅱ), anti-submarine helicopters, P3-C maritime surveillance patrol aircraft, and fighters such as the F-15K and KF-16 will be deployed.

Exercises to prevent abrupt landing through water and land by special enemy units will also be carried out, as well as naval firing by warships and from underwater.

China Newspaper Network said the same day that fears are rising over the North’s third nuclear test in protest of new U.S. financial sanctions. “If the new sanctions are similar to those that froze North Korean accounts at Banco Delta Asia in September 2005, experts say the North will conduct another nuclear test to protest the sanctions,” the network said.

The report said the North’s first nuclear test in 2006 was held in protest of U.S. financial sanctions.

polaris@donga.com bonhong@donga.com