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Terrorism & Security

South Korea begins largest anti-submarine drills ever, despite North Korea threats

South Korea has 4,500 service members from all military branches engaged in five days of antisubmarine drills. North Korea has threatened to retaliate.

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The drills will take place near the Northern Limit Line that acts as the maritime border for the North and the South. It was established by the United Nations after the Korean War ended in 1953, but Pyongyang has refused to accept it, arguing that the line was drawn too far north, reports Russia’s RTT News.

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Although the military will conduct live fire drills over the course of the next five days, military officials have stressed that all guns will be fired south, away from the Northern Limit Line.

“The drills will be staged within our areas of operation in the West Sea. They will be staged on the ground, at sea and in the air,” said Rear Adm. Kim Kyung-sik, the JCS's chief of operations, in an article in Korea’s Chosun Ilbo newspaper.

Meanwhile, China has expressed concern over the mounting tension on the Korean Peninsula, urging both sides to find a peaceful solution. With the current drills taking place so close to China in the Yellow Sea, the developing world superpower has expressed discomfort with the drills. China’s military announced that it will also be conducting five days of defensive naval training that it says are unrelated, but analysts say there is a connection.

“China says the two are not related, but of course they are," Lee Jong-min, dean of the Graduate School of International Studies at Yonsei University, told The Christian Science Monitor. “They are asserting their military powers," he adds.

China remains essential to containing the North Korean threat, say security analysts, and its support for new US sanctions on North Korea is "critical" to their efficacy, US special adviser for nonproliferation Robert Einhorn said Monday.

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