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South Korean military to conduct postponed naval drill

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South Korean military to conduct postponed naval drill

SRH 1806
Photo: JMSDF

South Korea’s military is set to carry out live fire naval drills today as part of ongoing efforts to revamp its military capabilities.

The drills, which will involve the Army, Navy and Air Force, were originally scheduled for last month but were postponed due to poor weather conditions. The drill will take place 330 kilometres southeast of Seoul in accordance with a 2018 military pact with North Korea. Both countries have agreed to refrain from live fire drills within 40 kilometres of the Military Demarcation Line (MDL) that separates the two states.

Previous exercises by Seoul have drawn harsh criticism from Pyongyang, which classified them as deliberate acts of confrontation. Tensions escalated on Tuesday when Pyongyang cut off all official communications with Seoul over anti-Pyongyang leaflets airdropped over the MDL, despite the South Korean government’s promise of legal repercussions for the activists involved. The North will likely leverage today’s drills to legitimise further provocation and exacerbate the North-South divide. With the North looking to manipulate the US into sanctions relief, the peninsula’s geopolitical situation could turn critical, as Pyongyang has consistently indicated it has nothing to lose in negotiations with the South.

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