Posted : 2013-07-19 13:27
Updated : 2013-07-19 13:27

S. Korea to conduct annual drill next month against N.K. threats

SEOUL, July 19 (Yonhap) --
South Korea plans to carry out an annual civilian exercise next month to better prepare for emergency situations such as provocations by North Korea, the home affairs ministry said Friday.

The "Ulchi Exercise" set for Aug. 19-22 will involve 410,000 officials at some 4,000 government offices and state-controlled civilian firms, according to the Ministry of Security and Public Administration.

During the exercise, the government plans to conduct an evacuation drill for citizens residing in Seoul and its surrounding metropolitan areas in preparation of a North Korean armed provocation with long-range artillery shells, the ministry said.

Its focus will also be on preparing for other emergency situations such as a power outage or a cyber attack, the ministry added.

South Korea has annually staged the exercise since July 1968 after 31 North Korean commandos infiltrated Seoul in a botched attempt to assassinate then President Park Chung-hee.

"North Korea has posed a threat to our security in diverse ways, including firing long-range missiles, conducting nuclear tests and shuttering the Kaesong Industrial Complex," Prime Minister Chung Hong-won said while presiding over its preparatory meeting on Friday.

"Agencies concerned need to create diverse opportunities to help people have hands-on experiences about crisis management," he added.

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