Friday, January 27, 2012

South Korea stages live-fire drill near sea border

South Korean Marines Thursday staged a live-fire artillery drill on an island shelled by North Korea in 2010, the first such exercise since the death of Pyongyang's leader Kim Jong-Il last month.

"Our troops staged two-hour firing drills today" on two frontline islands -- Baengnyeong and Yeonpyeong, a Marine spokesman told AFP.

A similar drill on Yeonpyeong in November 2010 provoked a North Korean artillery barrage which killed two Marines and two civilians and sparked international alarm.

"This is one of our routine and regular drills," the spokesman said, adding it had been planned well before Kim's death on December 17.

The firing drills near the disputed Yellow Sea border involve K-9 self-propelled guns, Vulcan cannon and other artillery, Yonhap news agency said. more