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Troops stage artillery drills at border island
The North called the maneuvers belligerent.
Marines at Yeonpyeong Island and nearby Baengnyeong Island fired artillery into waters near the disputed sea border during the two-hour-long drills, a South Korean Defense Ministry official said.
Similar drills at Yeonpyeong in November 2010 triggered a North Korean artillery bombardment that killed four South Koreans.
The latest drills were routine exercises, and there haven’t been any suspicious activities by North Korea's military, the South Korean official said on condition of anonymity, citing department rules.
U.S., Philippines eye more drills, but no bases
MANILA | U.S. and Filipino defense officials will discuss how to intensify joint war drills in the Philippines without re-establishing vast U.S. military bases as America tries to reassert its presence in Asia, a Manila official said Thursday.
While America plans to station troops in Australia and dock Navy ships in Singapore, it’s only looking at increasing the frequency of joint military exercises with Filipino troops in the Philippines, Defense Secretary Voltaire T. Gazmin said.
President Obama’s administration plans to enhance U.S. presence in Asia because of the region’s economic importance and China’s rise as a military power. It aims to retain American military pre-eminence worldwide despite stiff budget cuts.
A Philippine delegation led by a defense undersecretary will hold strategic talks with U.S. counterparts in Washington this week on a wide range of economic and defense concerns, including intensifying joint military exercises of the longtime military allies, Mr. Gazmin said.
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