N. Korea artillery stages major live-fire drill targeting Seoul

Park Sae-jin Reporter() | Posted : December 2, 2016, 10:30 | Updated : December 2, 2016, 10:30

[Yonhap News Photo]

North Korea's artillery, supervised by leader Kim Jong-un, staged a major live-fire drill targeting residents in Seoul in a show of military power that followed fresh UN sanctions.

The drill involving front-line artillery units was conducted Thursday in the northeastern port city of Wonsan, according to Pyongyang's state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

Kim called for "a clean sweep" if a war break out, KCNA said, adding North Korean troops were ready to demolish military facilities and other targets in Seoul and on South Korea's frontline islands in the Yellow Sea.

Kim's hostile remarks came as South and North Korean troops locked their horns along the heavily armed border with back-to-back winter drills. The South's joint chiefs of staff accused Pyongyang of raising cross-border tensions.

South Korean troops have been put on heightened alert to fend off North Korean threats as a wave of anti-government protests demanding the ouster of President Park Geun-hye for her role in a corruption scandal fanned political turmoil.

New UN sanctions imposed this week are targeted at Pyongyang's elite and their revenue sources with the aim of changing the regime's behavior, said US State Department deputy spokesman Mark Toner.

The UNSC resolution centers on putting a significant cap on North Korea's exports of coal, its single biggest export item and source of hard currency, and banning exports of four additional minerals such as copper, nickel, silver, and zinc.

"The resolution that was adopted yesterday was very clear in the types of sanctions that it adopted, or that it put in place rather, and that was specifically aimed at targeting North Korea's hard currency revenues," Toner said. "They're targeted really at North Korea's elite and the way that those elite make, frankly, their money."

Aju News Lim Chang-won = cwlim34@ajunews.com
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