S Korea to conduct largest artillery drill

S Korea to conduct largest artillery drill

Seoul, Aug 18 (IANS) South Korea is set to conduct its largest artillery exercise on Thursday with live-fire close to the border with North Korea as a warning to Kim Jong-un’s regime.

Around 300 artillery pieces and 49 artillery battalions will be fired at simulated targets, a spokesperson of the South Korean defence ministry told EFE news.

South Korean troops will fire the K9 Thunder, a self-propelled 155 mm howitzer made by the country, and its predecessor K-55, the spokesperson added.

The drill comes on the eve of the first anniversary of one of the worst episodes of violence between the two Koreas.

On August 19, 2015, the armies of both sides had exchanged fire across the Korean Demilitarised Zone.

The conflict was finally resolved through a marathon dialogue and without any casualties or material damage.

Meanwhile, South Korean experts believe the manoeuvres could aggravate tension with North Korea at a time of deteriorating bilateral relations.

On Wednesday, North Korea had warned that the planned deployment of the American THAAD anti-missile system on South Korean territory, a major point of conflict between the two Koreas, could prove disastrous for bilateral relations.

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