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S. Korea's top brass convenes emergency meeting on N.K. provocations

All News 15:57 July 20, 2016

SEOUL, July 20 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's military on Wednesday held an emergency meeting of top commanders from all service branches to discuss ways to better deal with North Korea's relentless military provocations, including the latest missile launch, officials said.

In the video conference call held at Seoul's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), top commanders from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps said they are expecting additional military provocations from the North ahead of the Ulchi-Freedom Guardian (UFG) joint military drills set for August.

Seoul and Washington hold the UFG drills annually and use the event to examine the forces' ability to secure security on the Korean Peninsula and maintain joint defense capacities.

"North Korea may conduct its fifth nuclear test, and test-fire submarine-launched ballistic missiles and ballistic missiles launched from the ground, taking issue with the annual joint exercise between the two allies," the JCS said in a statement.

It said as the South Korean military also expects various forms of provocative acts from the North in the areas near the border that divides the two Koreas, commanders discussed countermeasures and agreed to beef up surveillance and preparations against any military threats from the North.

"Should North Korea engage in provocations, (South Korea's military) should not hesitate and must show determination to stamp out those that undertake an attack," JCS chief Gen. Lee Sun-jin said.

On Tuesday, North Korea test-fired three ballistic missiles -- two Scuds and one Rodong -- in an apparent "armed protest" against South Korea's decision to deploy an advanced U.S. antimissile system in the country by the end of 2017.

kyongae.choi@yna.co.kr
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