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Iran Press TV

N Korea to carry out live-fire drills: Seoul

Iran Press TV

Mon Mar 31, 2014 4:33AM GMT

North Korea has announced that it is ready to carry out live-fire drills near its disputed border with South Korea, Seoul says.

'The North notified us that they would stage live-fire drills near the Yellow Sea border today,' the South Korean defense ministry said in a statement on Monday.

It was not made clear when exactly the drill would take place.

South Korean Defense Ministry spokesman Wi Yong-Seop accused Pyongyang of trying to escalate existing tensions in the region.

'The aim is to threaten us and rack up tension on the Yellow Sea border and the overall Korean peninsula.'

He added that his country would be monitoring the events closely, warning that Seoul would respond if necessary.

'We notified the North that we would strongly respond with fire if it fires across the border,' an unnamed South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) official said.

The announcement comes a day after Pyongyang said it would carry out a new form of nuclear testing.

Tensions have been on the rise between the two neighboring Koreas over the past few months.

North Korea has carried out a number of rocket and short-range missile launches in protest at the Seoul's ongoing annual joint military drill with Washington.

Pyongyang, who says its activities are solely for the purpose of self-defense, has often slammed the drills carried out by South Korea and the United States as a rehearsal for an invasion.

SZH/HRB



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