North Korea stages massive artillery drill to mark anniversary

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North Korea has staged its largest-ever artillery firing drill to mark the 85th anniversary of its military, the South’s Yonhap news agency reported on Tuesday. It comes amid rising tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

Yonhap, citing a government source, said the drill involved about 300 to 400 long-range artillery pieces, which would make it the country’s largest ever firing drill. It happened near the eastern port city of Wonsan in Kangwon Province.

North Korea’s long-range artillery is capable of reaching the South Korean capital of Seoul, which is just 35 miles (56 kilometers) south of the demilitarized zone that separates the two countries.

Other details about the event were not immediately available, though Yonhap said North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is likely to have participated in the event, which took place as North Korea marks Military Foundation Day.

But with tensions running high on the Korean Peninsula, North Korea did not use the holiday to carry out a missile or nuclear test. North Korea has carried out a series of missile tests over the past few months and experts believe a nuclear test is imminent.

Tuesday’s firing drill comes after U.S. President Donald Trump held calls with leaders of Japan, China, and Germany to discuss North Korea’s advancing nuclear weapons program. U.S. Secretary of State Tillerson will chair a special ministerial meeting of the UN Security Council on Friday to discuss North Korea.

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