S. Korea starts new naval exercises

Dec. 6, 2010 at 3:34 AM

SEOUL, Dec. 6 (UPI) -- South Korea's navy began firing live shells in waters up and down its coastline Monday in a new round of military exercises North Korea called provocative.

"The naval firing drills started at 29 locations along three coasts as scheduled," an unnamed South Korean military official told Yonhap.

The South Korean news agency said Yeonpyeong Island, hit by North Korean artillery last month, was excluded from the latest training exercises in consideration of the civilians living there and weather conditions.

The North issued a statement Sunday, saying the South was exhibiting signs of being "hell-bent" on escalating tensions between the two countries to the brink of war.

New South Korean Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin, who began his new duties Saturday, said Seoul will "take strong measures so that North Korea can't dare to provoke again."

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