Tensions High on 2nd Anniversary of Yeonpyeong Shelling

      November 20, 2012 09:21

      North Korea has been building up its defenses near the Northern Limit Line, the de facto maritime border, in the two years since it shelled South Korea's Yeonpyeong Island in November 2010, military officers here said Monday.

      Early this year, the North built a new hovercraft pier at the Koampo base in Yongyon, South Hwanghae Province. Instead of 30-40 minutes as in the past, it would take North Korean hovercraft a mere 17 minutes to reach the South Korean island of Beaknyeong.

      One South Korean officer said the North has also carried out more frequent submarine infiltration drills, and the regime moved about 70 helicopters to Taetan and Nuchon air bases in South Hwanghae Province, not far from South Korea's northwesternmost islands. "We're watching for a possible strike on any of the islands," the officer added.

      Seoul has deployed AH-1 Cobra attack helicopters on the islands, but they have limited uses since they cannot operate at night.

      Although it has nearly been two years since the shelling, the procurement of precision strike missiles against the North's coastal artillery guns has been delayed. Seoul and Washington had agreed to work out a joint plan to prepare for limited local provocations by the North, but the U.S. has delayed talks about the plan for fear of a "disproportionate" response by South Korea.

      • Copyright © Chosunilbo & Chosun.com
      Previous Next
      All Headlines Back to Top