Will the Korean Powder Keg Explode? Seoul Holds Biggest Artillery Drill Ever

Thursday, August 18, 2016
By Paul Martin

SputnikNews.com
18.08.2016

Artillery drills on the North Korean border constitute a stark escalation in South Korea’s military practice, causing concern that Pyongyang may react amid heightened provocation.

On Thursday, South Korea’s army conducted its largest-ever artillery drills near the tense border with North Korea, risking an escalation of tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

Dozens of military units along the border on Thursday deployed some 300 artillery systems that simultaneously fired shells in multiple directions, according to an army official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to Military.com.

South Korea’s front-line army units have engaged in numerous live-fire drills over the years, but the number of artillery mobilized in Thursday’s drill is the highest on the Korean peninsula to date, and simultaneous firing from all major front-line areas constitutes a stark departure from previous exercises, according to the army official.

North Korea has long stated that it is under threat of a nuclear attack from the United States. Washington has undertaken the practice of flying B-2 and B-52 bombers over the country, sending a stern message to Pyongyang that the United States stands with South Korea. The North has also said that they view the escalation of war games by the United States as a “dress rehearsal” for a full-scale invasion.

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