Major civil defense drill tomorrow

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Major civil defense drill tomorrow

South Korea will stage a major civil defense drill this week against mock attacks by North Korean aircraft amid continuing tensions after the North’s bombardment last month, officials said yesterday.

The drill will take place at 2 p.m. tomorrow, with a dozen South Korean fighter jets flying across the country to simulate air strikes, the National Emergency Management Agency said.

“Along with air raid sirens, people will be asked to run into some 25,000 state-managed shelters or other civilian underground facilities,” agency official Yoo Byung-Koo told AFP.

South Korea, which has remained technically at war with the communist North since their 1950-1953 conflict, usually conducts such drills without aircraft three times a year. They are widely ignored by the public.

“Unlike previous ones, Wednesday’s drill will focus on guiding people into emergency shelters,” said Yoo. “This will be the biggest exercise of its kind in many years. We hope people will take it seriously.”

In border areas, he said, there would be simulated strikes by North Korea’s ground artillery units.

The country has been on high alert since the North’s Nov. 23 bombardment of Yeonpyeong Island.

The North’s ruling party newspaper Rodong Sinmun said Monday that South Korea and the United States are conspiring to launch a war.

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