South Korea’s military conducted a live-fire artillery drill on Wednesday on a border island shelled by North Korea last November, the second firing drill since the North’s bombardment that inflamed tensions, Yonhap News Agency reported.
The three-hour firing exercise started in the morning by marines on Yeonpyeong Island, near the tense Yellow Sea border with North Korea, Col. Lee Bung-woo, a spokesman at the South’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), was quoted as saying.
Another firing drill took place on Baengnyeong Island, the closest island to the sea border, on the same day.
“We will continue to conduct live-fire drills on border islands on a regular basis to bolster military capabilities there,” said Lee, adding the South’s military has not detected any unusual military movements by the North’s armed forces.
Four South Koreans — two marines and two civilians — were killed in the North’s November 23 shelling on Yeonpyeong Island.
Pyongyang claims its artillery strike on Yeonpyeong was in self-defense because it was provoked by Seoul’s live-fire drill near the island.
Seoul said the drill was part of routine training and no shells landed in the North’s territory, accusing Pyongyang of a premeditated attack.
The South’s military held a live-fire drill on Yeonpyeong on December 20 amid the North’s pledge of retaliation.