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(LEAD) Defense chief urges more real combat training

All News 17:51 April 19, 2017

(ATTN: ADDS Marine Corps chief's visit to front-line unit)

SEOUL, April 19 (Yonhap) -- South Korean Defense Minister Han Min-koo on Wednesday stressed the importance of real combat training for his troops as he visited the Army's major battle training field.

"It's the military's natural duty to focus on actual combat-like training in order to become stronger under the grim security conditions," Han said during the tour of the Korea Combat Training Center in Gangwon Province.

Soldiers train at the mountainous site with the multiple integrated laser engagement system (MILES) in various combat scenarios.

The minister said the military needs to step up efforts to further develop a brigade-level combat training system.

Defense Minister Han Min-koo tests the multiple integrated laser engagement system at the Korea Combat Training Center in Gangwon Province on April 19. 2017. (Yonhap)

Meanwhile, Marine Corps Commander Lt. Gen. Jun Jin-goo visited the 6th brigade of the elite forces stationed on Baengnyeong Island just south of the western sea border with North Korea.

There are several islands in the northwestern waters of South Korea close to the Northern Limit Line, where military tensions are especially high.

It was Jun's first field activity since assuming the command of the 30,000 troops last week.

He urged the marines to "mercilessly retaliate" against North Korea's provocation.

"The northwestern islands are a battlefield closer to North Korea than the mainland," he pointed out, calling for the combat-oriented spirit and act of marines there.

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