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Army conducts river-crossing exercise amid growing N. Korean threats
SEOUL, Nov. 2 (Yonhap) — South Korea’s Army said Wednesday it has conducted a river-crossing exercise in a city south of Seoul, a move aimed at further enhancing its combat readiness against escalating threats from North Korea.
Some 200 soldiers as well as 150 armored combat vehicles and K-9 self-propelled howitzers participated in the drills held in the Namhan River in Yeoju, 105 kilometers south of Seoul, the Army said in a statement.
In the exercise simulating a scenario in which a bridge has been destroyed, pneumatic assault boats carried soldiers over first. Then, amphibious landing vehicles crossed the river followed by tanks that used a pontoon bridge set up by combat engineers, the statement said.
The latest maneuver is part of the broader Hoguk combined drill, which the Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force have carried out since 1996. The two-weeklong Hoguk combined exercise will run through Nov. 11.
The latest drill takes place at a time when the international community has expressed serious concerns over North Korea’s continued nuclear and missile development programs.
The North has conducted two underground nuclear tests and launched a series of missiles this year alone.