Coming less than two weeks after the South's Navy and Air Force conducted joint training exercises with the US off the peninsula's east coast, South Korean officials say that the current training exercise is purely defensive. They have dismissed threats from the North, which has warned of “powerful physical retaliation,” reports China’s state-run Xinhua news agency.
“The focus of the exercises is to strengthen our response to the enemy's asymmetric provocations and also our joint operations capabilities,” an official from the South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff told the Yonhap news agency. “We will not tolerate any kind of provocations by the enemy, and the drills will allow us to be fully prepared for combat.”
The drills will take place near the Northern Limit Line that acts as the maritime border for the North and the South. It was established by the United Nations after the Korean War ended in 1953, but Pyongyang has refused to accept it, arguing that the line was drawn too far north, reports Russia’s RTT News.
Although the military will conduct live fire drills over the course of the next five days, military officials have stressed that all guns will be fired south, away from the Northern Limit Line.