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South Korea to hold live fire drill despite North warning

Published on Jan 28, 2014 11:39 AM

SEOUL (AFP) - South Korea said it would carry out a live fire exercise Tuesday near the disputed sea border with North Korea, despite Pyongyang's warning of "grave consequences" if it went ahead.

Defence Ministry spokesman Kim Min-Seok told reporters that the North had sent a faxed message on Monday, demanding the exercise involving artillery batteries on Baengnyeong and Yeonpyeong islands in the Yellow Sea be called off.

The message from the North's top military body, the National Defence Commission (NDC), threatened unspecified "grave consequences" if the drill went ahead, Mr Kim said.

The South responded that the exercise was a "legitimate military drill" that would be carried out as scheduled, and warned of "strong retaliatory strikes" to any provocation from North Korea.

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