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South Korean Marines Power Up Defenses with Live-Fire Exercises

Daniel Kim Views  

Newsis

The 6th Marine Brigade and Yeonpyeong Unit under the Northwestern Islands Defense Command have resumed their annual maritime firearms training in the Northwestern Islands area, including Yeonpyeong Island and Baengnyeong Island.

The Marine Corps announced on the 26th that amid North Korea’s various provocations, including the launch of trash balloons and hypersonic intermediate-range ballistic missiles, the South Korean military conducted maritime firearms training in the operational areas of each unit in the Northwestern Islands.

This training is the first maritime firearms training in the Northwestern Islands after the full suspension of the 9·19 Inter-Korean Military Agreement due to recent provocations from North Korea, such as GPS interference and missile launches.

During the maritime firearms training, the Northwestern Islands units heightened their military readiness and maintained an immediate response posture, operating forces such as K-9, Chunmoo, and Spike missiles to conduct a total of about 290 shots against virtual enemies.

The Marine Corps stated, “We have verified our ability and posture to respond strongly against enemy provocations.”

The K-9 is a key artillery piece of the Northwestern Islands Marine Corps, with a maximum range of 25 miles and the ability to fire 6 to 8 155mm shells per minute. Chunmoo, designed for firepower, can devastate an area three times the size of a soccer field with 300 submunitions in one go. Its maximum range is 50 miles. The Spike missile, with a maximum range of 16 miles, can accurately attack North Korea’s coastal artillery hidden in tunnels.

Colonel Jeong Gu Yeong, the artillery battalion commander of the 6th Marine Brigade who participated in the training, emphasized, “The Marine Corps is ready to fight the enemy right now,” adding, “If the enemy provokes, we will pour out everything we have prepared and retaliate immediately, strongly, and until the end.”

This annual and defensive training was conducted following normal procedures, including issuing a prior navigation warning, in compliance with the regulations of the Armistice Agreement under the observation of the international inspection group of the UN Military Command Military Armistice Commission. Moreover, national safety measures were implemented for the safety of residents. Safety text messages were sent before the shooting, followed by broadcasting guidance and deploying resident evacuation guides on the day of the training.

The Northwestern Islands Defense Command plans to continue to promote the improvement of the Marine Corps firepower operation capabilities and military readiness through regular maritime firearms training.

This is interpreted as a response to North Korea’s provocations, such as the test launch of a ballistic missile, suspected to be an intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) using a solid fuel propulsion system, and the launch of trash balloons against the South for two consecutive days on the 24th and 25th.

The day before, the South Korean army conducted a live-fire training of Chunmoo. Currently, the forces of South Korea and the United States are conducting the annual joint mandatory training Dragon Lift 2024 using HH-60 transport Pave Hawk helicopters and ships. U.S. Navy’s nuclear-powered aircraft carrier U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt and the U.S. 9th Carrier Strike Group will soon depart the Busan Port and conduct joint training with the maritime forces of South Korea and Japan.

Newsis
Newsis
Daniel Kim
content@viewusglobal.com

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