S.Korea to Resume Artillery Drill on Yeonpyeong

South Korea will conduct an artillery fire drill from Yeonpyeong Island in the West Sea sometime between Saturday and next Tuesday, the Joint Chiefs of Staff said Thursday. They decided to carry the drill out to show the country will not give in to North Korean blackmail.

The drill was originally planned for last month but interrupted by the North's artillery attack on Yeonpyeong. It will take only one day.

Targeting a 40 km by 20 km maritime area in South Korean waters southwest of Yeonpyeong Island, it will mobilize K-9 self-propelled guns, 105-mm towed howitzers, Vulcan guns, and 81-mm mortars.

About 20 troops of the U.S. Forces Korea will participate in the drill, providing commanding control, communications and medical support.

Representatives from the UN Command and the Military Armistice Commission will observe the drill on the spot to ensure armistice compliance, a JCS spokesman said.

A UNCMAC spokesman said that the UNC has observed South Korean military training on a regular basis, adding that the "armistice agreement applies to all territory in Korea of land, sea and air."

The South Korean Marine unit on Yeonpyeong Island fired 3,657 shells into South Korean waters from 10:15 a.m. on Nov. 23 but halted the training at 2:34 p.m. due to the North Korean shelling of the island.

It will conduct the same drill at the same location in the same format.

VOA News / Dec. 17, 2010 09:36 KST