Largest firing drill on land for today

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Largest firing drill on land for today

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Soldiers patrol in Dangjin, South Chungcheong, yesterday, ahead of one of the largest-ever firing exercises today. [YONHAP]


The South Korean military will hold one of its largest-ever firing exercises on land today, simulating a North Korean attack, in a show of staunch battle readiness.

The drill, which will be held in Pocheon, Gyeonggi, will also be conducted in cooperation with the Air Force for the purpose of testing the military’s firepower and soldiers’ alertness. Multiple-launch rockets, self-propelled guns, AH-1S and 500 MD helicopters, and two F-15K and four KF-16 fighter jets will be deployed for the 800-man drill. Roughly 150 types of weaponry will be used.

The multiple-launch rocket system had previously been tested in separate exercises. Today will be the first time it is deployed in a general drill. The rockets are able to fire 8,000 rounds within 60 seconds, which can reach as far as 32 kilometers (19.9 miles).

“With this drill we will show the firm readiness of our military,” Brig. Gen. Ju Eun-sik, who will command the exercise, said yesterday. “If another situation like the provocation on Yeonpyeong Island arises, we will thoroughly punish [the enemy].”

K1 tanks will also be involved, as well as the K9 howitzers that were used in Monday’s live-fire drill on Yeonpyeong Island.

The exercise will be open to roughly 2,000 public spectators, who will be able to view tanks, rockets and helicopters that will be on display.

It comes a day after the South Korean Navy embarked on a four-day drill in waters off the east coast of the Korean Peninsula yesterday. The live-fire drill with six destroyers and LYNX helicopters is located 100 kilometers south of the Northern Limit Line.

The military is also keeping tight security at Aegibong Peak, where 100,000 lights on a tower were illuminated on Tuesday to form a Christmas tree that can be viewed from North Korea.


By Christine Kim [christine.kim@joongang.co.kr]

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