South Korea Ignores North's Threats, Holds Military Drill
North calls drill 'clear declaration of war'
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Feb 20, 2012 6:10 AM CST
South Korean navy sailors work at a floating base near South Korea's western Yeonpyong Island near the disputed sea border with North Korea, South Korea, Monday, Feb. 20, 2012.   (AP Photo/Yonhap, Bae Jung-hyun)

(Newser) – South Korea held its previously announced military drill today—complete with howitzers and attack helicopters—defying warnings from Pyongyang that the activities would prompt a "punishment." The South fired artillery for an hour on western islands near the border with the North; drills in the same region in 2010 prompted a North Korean attack on Yeonpyeong Island that killed four.

"This is a very dangerous play with fire to ignite a war against the North as it is a clear declaration of war against it," state-run North Korean news said yesterday. "If the puppet warmongers"—South Korea and the US—"preempt reckless firing despite our warning, they will not escape punishment thousands-fold severer" than the shelling of Yeonpyeong.