South Korea conducts live-fire exercises ahead of Winter Olympics

By Elizabeth Shim  |  Nov. 6, 2017 at 12:28 PM
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Nov. 6 (UPI) -- A South Korean military subdivision is stepping up training ahead of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics, near the border with North Korea.

The Republic of Korea VIII Corps conducted drills in Goseong County in Gangwon Province at Songjiho Beach in order to maintain military readiness, News 1 reported.

A total of five South Korean army corps and a naval fleet were involved in the exercise not far from the Olympics venue that included the deployment of a 130-millimeter multiple-rocket launcher, K55 self-propelled howitzers and the KH-179 155-millimeter towed field gun.

Other equipment used in North Korea deterrence training included drones, radar to detect large artillery and patrol frigates, according to the South Korean press report.

The drills included live-fire maritime exercises and "the swift and accurate hitting of targets at sea," according to the report.

Simulation exercises also included surveillance and detection of an enemy ship at the Northern Limit Line, the maritime border, that would begin provocations with gunfire.

"We will maintain perfect firepower for the success of the PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games, which is a festival of the world's people," a South Korean military spokesman said Monday.

The preparations come at a time when Seoul's unification ministry is considering unilateral sanctions against Pyongyang, Yonhap reported Monday.

The embargoes would focus on blocking funds that would go toward the development of the regime's weapons of mass destruction, the ministry said.

North Korea is under heavy sanctions following its sixth nuclear test in September.

U.S. President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agreed on Monday all options are on the table when dealing with North Korea.

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