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S. Korea carries out amphibious landing drill

All Headlines 10:22 November 06, 2013

By Kim Eun-jung

SEOUL, Nov. 6 (Yonhap) -- South Korea has launched a major military drill on Wednesday to enhance their capability for beach assaults and landings as part of the annual nationwide training exercises designed to deter North Korean threat, the Navy said.

The eight-day drill mobilizes more than 1,900 marines, 10 ships and aircraft of the Navy, Army and Air Force to improve joint competence skills off the coast of Pohang, 374 kilometers southeast of Seoul, the Navy said.

The drill is part of a larger training known as the Hoguk Exercise, which has been delayed due to a typhoon.

Marines aboard the armored landing vehicles, carriers, warships and amphibious battle tanks will carry out a large-scale beach assault operation in the last training exercise, escorted by warships and fighter jets, it said.

The ongoing exercises involved simulations of wartime beach assaults, operations of landing vehicles from naval ships, and training aimed at detecting and eliminating sea mines, officials said.

The training is aimed at countering provocations by North Korea, which carries out amphibious assault training exercises in its coastal waters.

The communist state is known to have about 130 readily deployable hovercraft, and its leader Kim Jong-un has regularly observed amphibious assault trainings targeted at South Korea, the Joint Chiefs of Staff here said in a report.

In March when inter-Korean tension was running high, North Korea's leader visited the bases on its east and west coast, and observed amphibious landing operations involving the hovercraft.

The communist nation has regularly carried out landing operations using the amphibious vehicles, which Seoul officials believe are aimed at infiltrating the inter-Korean sea boundary to quickly occupy South Korean border islands in case of war.

The two Koreas remain technically at war as the 1950-53 Korean War ended in a truce, without signing a peace treaty.

ejkim@yna.co.kr
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