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Navy chief orders "ruthless" reaction against any N. Korean offense

2015/08/07 18:06

SEOUL, Aug. 7 (Yonhap) -- Navy Chief of Staff Jung Ho-sup ordered his troops Friday to retaliate decisively against any North Korean provocations near the western sea border amid increasing signs of military tensions there.

Military tension is growing near the Northern Limit Line, the de factor inter-Korean sea border in the Yellow Sea, as North Korea forward deployed its major artillery in the border area.

The North has reportedly positioned 122-mm howitzers on the uninhabited Gal Island, just 4.5 kilometers away from the South's Yeonpyeong Island across the NLL, after building a new military camp there.

The waters near the NLL are facing a growing possibility of unexpected North Korean provocations, Jung said while visiting Marine Corps and Navy troops on the South Korean border island and adjacent areas.

He cited North Korea's fresh vessel deployment and the construction of the military outpost as signs of potential provocations, the Navy said in a statement.

"The troops should ensure a combat readiness position so any trivial changes from the enemy can be analyzed thoroughly to detect signs of provocations," Jung was quoted as telling the troops. The military should also be prepared to "retaliate ruthlessly and decisively upon any provocation," he said.

Servicemen should always stand ready to open fire and be equipped with a fight-tonight spirit, he said.