Wednesday, December 22, 2010
SEOUL — South Korea on Wednesday prepared for a major show of military strength involving fighter jets and tanks near the tense North Korean border as Washington ruled out “feel-good” talks with Pyongyang.
The live-fire exercise, planned for Thursday with self-propelled guns and 800 soldiers, follows signs of an easing of tensions on the peninsula after the North backed down from a threat to retaliate against an earlier drill.
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Although similar exercises have been held at the same firing range 20 kilometres (12 miles) south of the mainland border many times before, the latest comes with Seoul on high alert for a possible attack from the North.
South Korea’s navy meanwhile began a four-day firing drill Wednesday off the east coast, a relatively distant 100 kilometres (60 miles) south of the border with the North, mobilising six warships plus helicopters.
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