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Radar monitors NK artillery drill in Yellow Sea

Posted December. 09, 2010 10:20,   


Arthur, the radar of a South Korean artillery unit, detected Wednesday morning a string of North Korean artillery shells north of the Northern Limit Line an northeast of the South`s Baengnyeong Island in the Yellow Sea.

South Korean forces in the area were put on their highest alert but sentry soldiers guarding the five Yellow Sea islands did not hear the North`s artillery because the North fired artillery shells toward near its own shore.

A military official said, “In the past, we wouldn`t have known if the North fired artillery,” meaning Seoul through Arthur can monitor shelling conducted so far away that South Korean soldiers cannot even hear thanks. The radar was hurriedly deployed after the North’s shelling of Yeonpyeong Island.

Following the North’s attack on the island, South Korea rushed to deploy Arthur after learning that the conventional AN/TPQ-37 artillery radar failed to function adequately. Arthur is a radar system that can supplement the shortcomings of the AN/TPQ-37, which failed to accurately locate the North`s coastline artillery guns.

By instantly pinpointing the location of guns, the system can transmit related data to the command control system in seconds and keep watch around the clock. It can conduct surveillance up to a range of 60 kilometers with a margin of error of about 30 meters.

The South Korean military is also considering deploying a sonic surveillance radar to the area around year’s end.

On Wednesday’s firing by the North, a South Korean military official said, “The site where shells fell is judged to be North Korean waters north of the Northern Limit Line, and we recognized that the shelling was part of routine drills,” adding, “North Korea is believed to have used coastline artillery guns.”

Soldiers stationed on the five Yellow Sea islands area are on emergency standby 24 hours a day and are constantly monitoring moves by the North`s military amid the highest level of alert.

The South Korean military raises its alert level whenever the North`s military opens its gun nests.

A Marine officer at the Yeonpyeong base said, “In the past, we maintained normal alert levels even when the North opened gun nests because we considered it a routine firing drill. But we`ve been on emergency standby daily since the Yeonpyeong attack.”

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