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S. Korea to Conduct Defence Drills

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Chun Hae-sung (R, front), vice unification minister of South Korea, shakes hands with Jon Jong Su (L, front), vice chairman of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), at Peace House, a building in the South Korean side of Panmunjom, Jan. 17, 2018. (Xinhua/South Korean Unification Ministry/IANS)

South Korea to hold security drills around Winter Olympics site. Around 2,000 soldiers of the South Korean armed forces, including marines and the CBR (chemical, biological and radiological warfare) Rapid Response Team will participate in the large scale drills to boost security of the Games….reports Asian Lite News

Chun Hae-sung (R, front), vice unification minister of South Korea, shakes hands with Jon Jong Su (L, front), vice chairman of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), at Peace House, a building in the South Korean side of Panmunjom, Jan. 17, 2018. (Xinhua/South Korean Unification Ministry/IANS)

South Korea is all set to conduct defence drills on Thursday around PyeongChang county, site of the upcoming Winter Olympics, following a thaw in inter-Korean relations after months of heightened tension on the Korean peninsula.

Around 2,000 soldiers of the South Korean armed forces, including marines and the CBR (chemical, biological and radiological warfare) Rapid Response Team will participate in the large scale drills to boost security of the Games, a Defence Ministry spokesperson told the media.

Helicopters, drones, airplanes and other assets will be deployed in the exercises, said the spokesperson.

The drills will be held in the coastal city of Gangneung, which typically hosts ice hockey, skating and curling sporting events, as well as in the PyeongChang county, where the games will open in early February.

Chun Hae-sung (L, front), vice unification minister of South Korea, and Jon Jong Su (R, front), vice chairman of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), leave after holding dialogue at Peace House, a building in the South Korean side of Panmunjom, Jan. 17, 2018.(Xinhua/South Korean Unification Ministry/IANS)

The opening ceremony has already created a buzz after on Wednesday both the Koreas agreed to march together under a single flag, a move that is happening for the first time since the Turin 2006 Winter Olympics.

The agreement came after high-level deliberations between the two countries — that have been technically at war for more than 65 years — in the last 10 days after two years of escalated tension owing to repeated weapons tests by North Korea.

North Korea’s participation at PyeongChang — where it is set to send a large contingent including athletes, officials, an art troupe and cheerleaders — will guarantee in principle that the Kim Jong-un regime will not carry out weapons tests during the event.

The Winter Olympics are set to be held in the South Korean county, situated 70 km south of the militarized border between the two sides, from February 9-25, while the Paralympics will be held from March 9-15.

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