DPRK slams Seoul's firing drill near sea border

Updated: 2015-11-24 18:20


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PYONGYANG -- The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Tuesday blasted Seoul's live-ammunition drill in northwestern islands near the sea border, calling it "reckless saber-rattling."

The artillery firing exercises, held on the 5th anniversary of the Yeonpyeong Island incident, was the "most vicious military provocation aimed at confrontation with the fellow countrymen in the North," the official KCNA news agency quoted a spokesman for the policy department of the DPRK National Defense Commission as saying.

Five years ago, the DPRK bombarded the Yeonpyeong Island located near the tense western maritime border. The DPRK said the shelling was a self-defense measure against joint naval exercises between the Republic of Korea (ROK) and the United States near the northern limited line.

The ROK's armed forces on Monday conducted live-ammunition exercises for around 40 minutes from 4 pm (0700 GMT) with its K-9 self-propelled artillery in islands of Yeonpyeong and Baengnyeong. All rounds of artillery shells fell southwest on the ROK's territorial waters, according to ROK defense ministry.

The DPRK military warned Sunday of merciless retaliation if the ROK fires into the DPRK waters.

The DPRK spokesman also slammed ROK authorities for holding a memorial service on the 5th anniversary of the Yeonpyeong Island incident. "South Korean authorities clearly showed again their hostile and confrontation policy toward the North remains unchanged," said the spokesman.