(27 May 2010)
At sea, off South Korea – 27 May 2010
1. South Korean naval vessel patrolling
2. Mid of South Korean military personnel holding weapons
3. Wide of two South Korean patrol boats
4. Stern of South Korean patrol boat, AUDIO: gunfire
5. Wide of boat firing in military exercise, AUDIO: gunfire
6. Mid of guns firing, AUDIO: gunfire
7. Mid of sailors on board South Korean vessel, zoom in to firing and explosion in sea
8. Wide of explosion in sea
9. Tilt down from radar to South Korean navy sailors on board
10. Mid of sailor at observation post
11. SOUNDBITE: (Korean) Ma Sangcheol, Captain on Second Naval Fleet, South Korean Navy:
“The Second Naval Fleet is holding this naval exercise to double check our readiness after the Cheonan incident. Also to show our strong determination to protect our (South Korean) waters from the North.”
12. Sailors on board South Korean naval vessel
Military tension on the Korean peninsula rose on Thursday after North Korea threatened to attack any South Korean ships entering its waters and Seoul held anti-submarine drills in response to the March sinking
of a navy vessel blamed on Pyongyang.
Separately, the chief US military commander in South Korea criticised the North over the sinking of the South
Korean warship Cheonan in which 46 sailors died, telling the communist country to stop its aggressive actions.
North Korean reaction was swift. The military declared 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 the North says are its waters in a disputed area off the west
coast of the peninsula.
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.
South Korea also is planning two major military drills with the US by July in a display of force intended to
deter aggression by North Korea, according to South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff.
A multinational team of investigators said May 20 that a North Korean torpedo sank the 1,200-ton ship. Seoul
announced 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 programme.
The prospect of another eruption of serious fighting has been constant on the Korean peninsula since the war ended.
But it had been largely out of focus in the past decade as North and South Korea took steps to end enmity and
distrust, such as launching joint economic projects and holding two summits.
The US fought on the South Korean side during the 1950-53 Korean War, which ended in an armistice, not a
peace treaty and North Korea has long demanded a permanent peace agreement.
South Korean media reported on Thursday that the US-South Korean combined forces command led by Sharp raised its surveillance level, called Watch Condition, by a step from level 3 to level 2. Level 1 is the highest.
The increased alert level means US spy satellites and U-2 spy planes will intensify their reconnaissance of North
Korea, the JoongAng Ilbo newspaper said, citing an unidentified South Korean official.
The South Korean and US militaries would not confirm any changes to the alert level.
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