N.Korea Boosts Coastal Defenses as Allied War Games Start

      November 29, 2010 09:02

      North Korea has threatened to respond "mercilessly" to South Korean-U.S. military exercise that began Sunday.

      In time with the start of the joint exercise, the North Korean military fired about 30 artillery shells from the Kaemori region north of Yeonpyeong Island into the West Sea as part of a military drill of its own. It also moved some of its 122-mm multiple rocket launchers and opened more camouflaged artillery gates to coastal positions.

      The North moved SA-2 surface-to-air missiles with a range of about 30 km to the coast and placed surface-to-ship missiles with ranges between 83 and 100 km on launch pads on the western coast. MiG-23 fighters are on standby at Hwangju Air Base.

      The Eighth Navy Combat Fleet in the West Sea and South Hwanghae Province are in a virtual state of war.

      The official Rodong Sinmun daily threatened "a merciless military counterattack against any intrusion into our territorial waters." It repeated the claim that the attack on Yeonpyeong Island last week was an exercise in self-defense.

      One propaganda outlet said, "The Korean Peninsula is in the highest state of war. We're fully prepared to deal with things even more powerful than the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier."

      The official KCNA news agency on Saturday said, "Nobody knows what the consequences will be if the U.S. deploys its aircraft carrier in the West Sea."

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