17 December 2010

Norks Threaten "Unpredictable Self-Defensive Strikes"

Tensions are high on the Korean peninsula today as North Korea threatens retaliation unless planned artillery drills by South Korea are cancelled.
North Korea warned South Korea to stop planned artillery drills on an island the North bombed last month, saying its retaliation for the manoeuvers would be even more intense than its original attack that killed four South Koreans.

South Korea has said it plans one-day, live-fire drills sometime between Saturday and Tuesday on Yeonpyeong Island, depending on weather and other factors.

The North, which claims nearby waters and has said it considers such drills an infringement of its territory, responded to similar firing exercises on Nov. 23 by raining artillery shells on the tiny island, which is home to a fishing community and military bases and is near the Koreas' disputed sea border.

If South Korea goes ahead with more drills on Yeonpyeong Island, "despite our military's prior warnings, second and third unpredictable self-defensive strikes will be made," an unnamed senior North Korean military official said in comments carried by North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency.

The retaliation would be made "to safeguard our republic's sacred territorial waters," the North said in the notice that was sent to South Korean military officials Friday. "The intensity and scope of the strike will be more serious than the Nov. 23 [shelling]."

The South has said its planned drills are part of "routine, justified" exercises and has warned that it is prepared to deal with any North Korean attack. Representatives of the American-led United Nations Command that oversees the armistice that ended the Korean War will observe the drills.
By: Shelldrake

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