South Korea's tanks, artillery and fighters approach NKorean border for major drills

42836.jpegSouth Korea's military has started a major live-fire exercise involving tanks, artillery and fighter planes near the tense North Korean border.

The exercise, which was due to last one hour, was being held at Pocheon, 30km south of the land border. The drill began at 2.43pm (1643 AEDT), 43 minutes later than scheduled.

The South's military said today's ground and air firing exercise 20km south of the border would involve self-propelled guns and 800 troops.

Although similar drills have been held at the firing range at Pocheon before, the exercise comes with the US-backed South on high alert for a possible retaliation attack by the North, The Australian reports.

Pyongyang, which earlier this week had threatened retaliation against another South Korean exercise, made no immediate response to the drill other than to condemn it as "provocative" - an adjective which has repeatedly been applied to its own conduct in recent weeks.

The North rejected assertions by the South that the drills were "routine", saying in a statement on the KCNA official news agency that such claims were meant "to conceal the provocative and offensive nature of the exercises", according to


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