South Korea will hold live-fire drills on islands near the Yellow Sea border with North Korea, Yonhap News Agency reported Wednesday, citing the military.
The Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said the Northwest Islands Defense Command will carry out an exercise Friday on Yeonpyeong and Baengnyeong islands off the west coast, according to the report.
“This is a routine exercise designed to improve our capabilities,” a JCS official was quoted as saying.
“We will also try to establish a firm defense posture in our waters,” he said, adding that representatives from the Military Armistice Commission will be on hand for the drill.
The military also held live-fire drills in the Yellow Sea in March and May of this year.
Yeonpyeong and Baengneyong are located just south of the Northern Limit Line (NLL), a de facto maritime border between the Koreas, and the waters around them have seen deadly naval skirmishes and armed provocations by North Korea.
North Korea refuses to recognize the NLL, drawn by the US-led United Nations Command, while South Korea has rejected the North’s request that the line be moved farther south.
The Koreans remain technically in a state of war because the 1950-53 Korean War ended in an armistice, rather than a peace treaty.