About 800 troops joined the drill near Pocheon, about 30 kilometers (19 miles) from the border with North Korea, said an official at the Defense Ministry who declined to be named, citing government policy. The exercise began at around 2:42 p.m., according to a pooled report from journalists.
Defense Minister Kim Kwan Jin said on Dec. 21 that the military will remain on alert even after an artillery drill on Yeonpyeong Island along the disputed western maritime border ended on Dec. 20 without retaliation from North Korea. The official Korean Central News Agency said that North Korea doesn’t need to respond to every provocation and called the exercise on Yeonpyeong “a childish play with fire of cowards.”
The drills include 30 K-1 tanks, 11 K-200 armored personnel carriers, two F-15K jets, 36 K-9 artillery pieces, three multiple long-range rockets, three AH-1S cobra helicopters and other equipment, according to the pooled report.
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