Dec 19, 2010


South Korea to go Ahead with Live Fire Drill

  • Dec 19, 2010
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  • South Korean military officials said they will proceed with planned live-fire artillery drills from an island the North shelled last month, despite threats of retaliation from Pyongyang.

    An official with South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said Saturday the South's military is ready to respond to any possible provocation.  He said the drills will be conduct by Tuesday.

    The official Korean Central News Agency  quoted the North's military Friday as saying that if the drills are held, the "intensity and range" of its firepower will be more serious than when it shelled Yeonpyeong Island last month.  Four people were killed in that attack.

    The governor of the U.S. state of New Mexico, Bill Richardson is in North Korea on a private mission to try to ease tensions on the Korean peninsula.
    The U.S. State Department spokesman, P.J. Crowley, said Friday that there would be no justification for North Korea to take military action.  He also said the United States is concerned about the situation and "trusts" that South Korea "will be very cautious" in what it does.

    On Friday 18th, Russia's foreign ministry summoned the South Korean and U.S. ambassadors to express "extreme concern" about the planned live-fire drills.  During the meeting, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexei Borodavkin urged South Korea and the United States to refrain from the drills to prevent an escalation of tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

    U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urged North Korea to show restraint and called on both Koreas to reduce tensions on the peninsula.

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