Skip to main content

North Korea conducts live-fire exercises amid escalating tensions

By Euan McKirdy, CNN
updated 5:32 PM EDT, Tue April 29, 2014
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • No shells landed in South Korean waters
  • Analysts: Strong likelihood that the North is preparing for another nuclear test
  • U.S. President Obama warns of further sanctions should North detonate a nuclear device

Hong Kong (CNN) -- North Korea conducted a live-fire drill Tuesday near its disputed western sea border with the South, immediately inviting a stern rebuke from its neighbor.

"The South Korean Army, Air Force and Navy is fully prepared for possible North Korean provocation," said Kim Min-seok, a South Korean defense ministry spokesman.

"If North Korea launched fire toward the (South Korean maritime border), we will respond with counter fire."

The drill lasted about 15 to 20 minutes, with no shells landing in South Korean waters, the South Korean military said.

North Korea's arsenal by the numbers
North Korea detains American tourist
A North Korean soldier patrols the bank of the Yalu River, which separates the North Korean town of Sinuiju from the Chinese border town of Dandong, on Saturday, April 26. A recent United Nations report described a brutal North Korean state "that does not have any parallel in the contemporary world." A North Korean soldier patrols the bank of the Yalu River, which separates the North Korean town of Sinuiju from the Chinese border town of Dandong, on Saturday, April 26. A recent United Nations report described a brutal North Korean state "that does not have any parallel in the contemporary world."
Kim Jong Un and North Korea's military
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
>
>>
Photos: Kim Jong Un\'s military Photos: Kim Jong Un's military

Pyongyang had notified Seoul that it would be conducting the exercises.

But the move follows U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to the region and amid a number of other belligerent actions by the Communist nation.

Preparations for a nuclear test

Late last week, South Korean officials reported that North Korea had completed the steps needed to conduct a nuclear test, including the sealing of a tunnel at the Punggye-ri site in northeastern North Korea, which analysts say is the final preparation for testing a device.

The North Korean analyst website 38 North, part of the U.S.-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University, says other activity consistent with final preparations for a test had been observed on satellite imagery.

South Korea: North Korea ready for nuclear test

Further sanctions

During his visit to South Korea, Obama warned of further sanctions if North Korea carried out any unsanctioned nuclear test. The test preparations also come as an American tourist was detained by North Korean officials.

The North engaged in similar exercises at the end of March, which resulted in an exchange of fire between the two neighboring countries.

Opinion: 3 ways to thwart N. Korea nukes

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 6:25 PM EDT, Wed July 2, 2014
As diplomats discuss a string of unsolved kidnappings of Japanese citizens by North Korea, the families of those abducted anxiously wait and hope.
updated 7:57 PM EDT, Thu July 3, 2014
When President Xi Jinping arrives in Seoul this week, the Chinese leader will have passed over North Korea in favor of its arch rival.
updated 11:13 PM EDT, Mon June 30, 2014
North Korea says it plans to prosecute two American tourists that it detained earlier this year, accusing them of "perpetrating hostile acts."
updated 7:38 PM EDT, Mon June 30, 2014
North Korea proposed that "all hostile military activities" with South Korea be halted, but it attached conditions that Seoul is likely to reject.
updated 8:23 PM EDT, Thu June 26, 2014
North Korean state news is reporting the country test-launched "cutting-edge ultra precision tactical guided missiles."
updated 7:45 AM EDT, Wed June 25, 2014
James Franco won't be following Dennis Rodman into North Korea anytime soon.
updated 7:04 AM EDT, Fri June 13, 2014
Don't you hate it when the weatherman gets it wrong? Apparently, so does Kim Jong Un.
updated 7:44 PM EDT, Thu June 5, 2014
New signs show Russia and North Korea are developing a closer relationship.
updated 8:12 PM EDT, Wed May 21, 2014
Photographer Eric Lafforgue visited North Korea and shares his inside look at the most isolated country in the world.
updated 9:25 PM EDT, Mon May 12, 2014
Many North Koreans listen to illegal broadcasts on homemade radios, some are convinced to defect.
updated 3:26 PM EDT, Thu May 8, 2014
Jang Jin-Sung, a North Korean defector and former regime insider, speaks with CNN's Christiane Amanpour.
updated 10:06 AM EDT, Tue May 13, 2014
iReporter Kenny Zhu visited North Korea in April and was able to take video footage and photos with his Google Glass during the trip.
updated 2:42 PM EDT, Tue April 29, 2014
North Korea loves saber-rattling. Here's a look at all the firepower they have stockpiled.
updated 8:03 PM EDT, Wed April 23, 2014
CNN's Elise Labott reports on the new baby pictures of Kim Jong Un released by North Korean state media.
updated 7:27 AM EDT, Wed April 2, 2014
Experts warn that under Kim Jong Un's rule, Pyongyang has shown an even greater willingness to raise the stakes than before.
updated 9:14 AM EDT, Tue March 18, 2014
China and North Korea criticize a U.N. report that found crimes against humanity committed in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
updated 8:05 AM EDT, Mon March 17, 2014
Megumi Yokota was only 13 when she was abducted by a North Korean agent in the 1970s. What happened after that?
updated 12:30 AM EDT, Wed March 12, 2014
Report: North Korea uses multiple techniques to defy sanctions, and shows no signs of abandoning its nuclear missile programs.
ADVERTISEMENT