South Korea on Thursday
mobilized hundreds of troops, tanks, helicopters and jet fighters for a
massive military exercise aimed at sending North Korea a message of
strength amid high tensions on the peninsula.
The firing drills
set for later in the day near the Koreas' heavily armed land border
signaled that South Korea is willing to risk further escalating tensions
with North Korea, which shelled a southern island off the Koreas'
western coast on Nov. 23, killing four South Koreans and stirring fears
The attack was portrayed by Pyongyang as a retaliation for southern military exercises on Yeonpyeong island that day.