NATIONAL

Marines conduct live-fire drill near western border

By Catherine Chung
  • Published : Aug 7, 2017 - 17:05
  • Updated : Aug 7, 2017 - 17:05
South Korean marines fired a Spike surface-to-surface missile and more than 200 artillery rounds from K9 self-propelled howitzers, staging a "routine" exercise near the tense western border with North Korea.

According to the Marine Corps, the live-fire drills also involved AH-1S Cobra's 2.75-inch rockets, hosted by the Northwest Islands Defense Command in charge of defending the South's northernmost islands in the Yellow Sea, and the 6th Brigade.

"Conducted in our waters south of the Northern Limit Line, it was a regular training to improve proficiency in combat," a Marine Corps official said. "In accordance with existing procedures, we informed North Korea of the training plan in advance through the UN Command Military Armistice Commission."

A spike missile is fired in this file photo provided by South Korea`s Marine Corps Command. (Yonhap)

The South's spike missiles, deployed in 2013, are aimed at neutralizing North Korean coastal artillery.

Monday's practice came amid increased tensions on the peninsula following the North's two intercontinental ballistic missile launches in July.

Many predict that the North may carry out additional provocations, possibly another nuclear test, in response to the UN Security Council's new sanctions resolution against the regime.

US officials are talking openly about a "military option" to prevent the unpredictable communist regime using its nuclear weapons. (Yonhap)