SKorea holds navy drill; NKorea scraps sea accords

SKorea holds navy drill; NKorea scraps sea accords
# 28 May 2010 03:54 (UTC +04:00)
Baku-APA. South Korean warships fired guns and dropped anti-submarine bombs in a large-scale military exercise Thursday, a week after Seoul accused North Korea of shooting a torpedo that sank a navy frigate in March, APA reports quoting news.yahoo.com website.
The military pushed ahead with the show of force despite warnings from the North that the exercise would bring the peninsula to the brink of war.
North Korea’s reaction was swift. Its military declared in a statement carried by the state news agency that it would scrap accords with the South designed to prevent armed clashes at their maritime border, including the cutting of a military hot line, and warned of "prompt physical strikes" if any South Korean ships enter what it says are its waters in a disputed area off the west coast of the peninsula.
A multinational team of investigators announced May 20 that a North Korean torpedo brought down the Cheonan on March 26, killing 46 sailors. Seoul announced a series of punitive measures, including slashing trade and resuming anti-Pyongyang propaganda over radio and loudspeakers aimed at the North. North Korea has denied attacking the ship, which sank near disputed western waters where the Koreas have fought three bloody sea battles since 1999.
Inter-Korean political and economic ties have been steadily deteriorating since the February 2008 inauguration of South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, who vowed a tougher line on the North and its nuclear program. The sinking of the Cheonan has returned military tensions — and the prospect of armed conflict — to the fore.
Off the west coast, 10 South Korean warships, including a 3,500-ton destroyer, fired artillery and other guns and dropped anti-submarine bombs during a one-day exercise to boost readiness, the navy said.
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THE OPERATION IS BEING PERFORMED