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New military drill plans from South Korea.

Summary: South Korea announced land and sea military exercises including its largest-ever live-fire drill near North Korea.

South Korea announced land and sea military exercises including its largest-ever live-fire drill near North Korea in a big show of force just as tension on the peninsula was easing after Pyongyang's attack on a southern island.

The land drill, involving artillery, fighter jets and the largest number of personnel in a peace-time exercise, will take place on Thursday, after the South's live-fire artillery exercise on Monday on the island of Yeonpyeong, and is bound to infuriate the North.

South Korea is also holding three days of live-firing drills off the peninsula's east coast starting on Wednesday, a media official at the Defence Ministry said.

He would not provide details. A local news agency said the drills were taking place 100 km (60 miles) south of the maritime border with North Korea and involved at least six naval boats.

North Korea this week offered to let UN inspectors back in the country to look at its nuclear-weapon programme, leading to speculation of a resumption of six-party disarmament talks and a general sigh of relief around the world that the crisis had passed.

The South carried out live-fire drills on Yeonpyeong on Monday, which provoked only a verbal reaction from the North.

Independent Television News Limited 2010. All rights reserved.

Independent Television News Limited 2009. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Independent Television News Limited (ITN)
Geographic Code:9NORT
Date:Dec 24, 2010
Words:242
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