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Hwang warns of N.K. provocations ahead of its key anniversary events

All News 20:16 April 13, 2017

ICHEON, South Korea, April 13 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's Acting President and Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn on Thursday ordered the military to maintain a full readiness posture against "highly possible" provocations by the North ahead of its key anniversaries this month.

Hwang made the remarks during a rare visit to the Army's Special Warfare Command, which he touted as a core war-fighting force capable of retaliating "strongly and decisively" if provoked.

"The possibility is high that Pyongyang would press ahead with its strategic provocations intended to bring domestic and international attention to its key internal events," Hwang said at the command in Icheon, 80 kilometers south of Seoul.

Hwang was referring to a set of the North's key state events this month, including the 105th anniversary of its founder Kim Il-sung's birthday on Saturday and the 85th anniversary of the foundation of its Korean People's Army on April 25.

"(Troops) have to focus on real battle training to ensure that they can successfully carry out their missions under any circumstances," he added.

Tensions have run high on the divided peninsula with the communist state seen preparing for a sixth nuclear test and the United States sending an aircraft carrier strike group toward the Korean Peninsula in an apparent show of force against Pyongyang.

Acting President and Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn (C) visits the Special Warfare Command in Icheon, 80 kilometers south of Seoul, on April 13, 2017. (Yonhap)

sshluck@yna.co.kr
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