S. Korea Continues Firing Exercise Near W. Sea Despite N. Korean Threats
Despite threats from North Korea, South Korean Marines went ahead with an artillery drill Monday in waters near the West Sea border islands of Baengryeong and Yeonpyeong just south of the North Korean border.
Military officials say the exercise the second in the area this year is designed to help the military maintain its combat readiness in the border area.
The live-fire drill involved firearms such as the K-9 artillery and 20 millimeter Vulcan automatic cannon.
Pyeongyang has denounced the exercises in the past but its threat on Sunday included a rare warning telling civilians living on the islands to evacuate.
Also on Monday, North Korea issued an additional warning saying it will strike back "a thousand times more" than they did in 2010 if provoked.
In response, local officials issued an evacuation notice. As exercise began, at 9:30 a.m., around one-thousand residents in the five West Sea Islands evacuated to emergency shelters an estimated 16 percent of the local population. .
According to the official from Ong-jin county, residents who chose not to evacuate stayed indoors. The evacuation notice is expected to be lifted after the two-hour exercise is finished.
Kim Han-ul, Arirang News.
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