S. Korea hold new massive army, air force drills in show of force against N. Korea

December 23rd, 2010 - 1:18 pm ICT by ANI  

F-16 Seoul (S. Korea), Dec. 23 (ANI): In a show of force aimed at countering potential and possible threats from North Korea, the South Korean army and air force held its largest air and ground drills here on Thursday.

Foreign news agency reports said that the drills were taking place near the Koreas’ heavily fortified border in Pocheon, signaling Seoul’s determination to showcase its military strength.

Vulcan artillery vehicles fired into a wide valley with numbers carved onto hills below as the army and air force launched the drills at 2:42 p.m. local time, about 30 kilometers from the North Korean border.

They are the armed forces’ largest joint firing exercises this year.

Exactly one month ago, routine South Korean live-fire drills from Yeonpyeong Island in the Yellow Sea triggered a shower of North Korean artillery that killed two marines and two construction workers.

It was the first military attack on a civilian area since the 1950-53 Korean War ended in a truce.

Forty-seven similar exercises have taken place this year but Thursday’s maneuvers were scheduled in response to the North Korean attack, according to army officials.

Thursday’s drills are to include 30 K-1 tanks, 11 K-200 armored personnel carriers, two F-15K jets, four KF-16, 36 K-9 artillery pieces, three multiple long-range rockets, four 500MD helicopters, three AH-1S cobra helicopters, and other equipment and 800 troops, according to the army.

South Korea’s navy also was conducting annual anti-submarine exercises off the east coast. (ANI)

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