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Control center on S. Korean island to watch for N.K. attacks

2015/08/16 10:44

INCHEON, Aug. 16 (Yonhap) -- A control center will be established on South Korea's northernmost island to better deter North Korean threats, local officials said Sunday.

The center, to be installed on Baengnyeong Island, will have access to some 40 nearby closed-circuit TVs (CCTVs) to watch for potential North Korean attacks, said officials in Ongjin, a county west of Seoul where the island is located.

The Marine Corp. first suggested the idea in May, and officials have been discussing where and how the center should be run with the Marines and police authorities.

Currently, the control center for the more than 100 islands in Ongjin is located in the inland area of the county, one of the many factors that delayed South Korea's response to the North's shelling of Yeonpyeong Island in 2010. The Marines at the time were forced to move back to the inland to watch the CCTVs, officials said.

The center on Baengyneong, however, will allow quicker access to real-time situations.

"It will expand the visual field of commanding officers," an Ongjin official said.

Officials added they are in the final stages of negotiations with KT Corp., a telecommunications company that would transmit the video.