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Military drill marks anniversary of Yeonpyeong attack

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Published : 2011-11-22 17:32
Updated : 2011-11-22 17:32

South Korea will hold a military drill in the West Sea on Wednesday, the one-year anniversary of North Korea’s attack on Yeonpyeongdo.

In the drill, units including the Northwest Islands Defense Command, Air Force Operations Command and the Navy Operations Command will engage in an exercise simulating last year’s attack under the command of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Jung Seung-jo.

The exercise will also include a drill defending Baengnyeong Island against a North Korean attempt to land on and occupy the island.

“The exercise reflects last year’s situation, but under changed plans and with reinforced capabilities,” Colonel Lee Bung-woo, Joint Chiefs of Staff spokesman, said.

On Nov. 23, 2010, North Korea began shelling Yeonpyeongdo during a firing drill conducted by the South’s marines stationed there, killing two civilians and two marines.

Other Air Force, Army and Navy units will conduct exercises repelling North Korean provocations according to their roles and protecting nuclear power facilities.

Saying that the JCS is deeply regretful that the North has yet to apologize for last year’s attack, Lee added that the exercise will emphasize the readiness of the South’s military and the JCS chairman’s will to “pulverize” the enemy if the North engages in a similar act of provocation.

“The exercise is a drill for striking an attack’s point of origin, as well as the command posts and support forces that can execute additional attacks.”

Command posts are battalion and larger units, Lee said.

Regarding the aim of practicing locating and striking the attack’s point of origin, Lee said that while the units targeted in last year’s shelling were not immediately able to do so, the reinforcements and deployment of additional equipment implemented since have enabled the South to locate immobile and mobile enemy units.

Lee said that Baengnyeong Island is vulnerable to an attempt to land by the North due to its proximity to North Korea.

By Choi he-suk
(cheesuk@heraldcorp.com)