S Korea stages drill on tense sea border
SEOUL - Agence France-Presse
South Koreans protest at second anniversary of a North Korean artillery attack. Seoul held a drill near the disputed Yellow Sea border with N Korea. EPA photoSouth Korean Marines staged a live-fire exercise yesterday near the disputed Yellow Sea border with North Korea amid high tensions over a display of front-line Christmas lights.
The exercise involving self-propelled howitzers and a multiple rocket launch system was held on two islands, Baengnyeong and Yeonpyeong, the Joint Chiefs of Staff said.
Hundreds of island residents evacuated into safe zones during the two-hour drill, but there was no response from the North, it said. A similar drill on Yeonpyeong in 2010 provoked a North Korean artillery barrage which killed four people and sparked international alarm.
The exercise came after the Marines strengthened guard around a giant display featuring thousands of glittering bulbs on a tree-shaped steel tower in Gimpo west of Seoul. The North has condemned the display as “psychological warfare” by its neighbor, aimed at spreading Christianity in the communist state.