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S. Korea Fortifies Shelters on Islands Near N. Korea

South Korea is spending millions of dollars to fortify shelters on five frontline islands near its tense sea border with North Korea in case of any future attacks, an official said Monday.

The move follows an artillery and rocket barrage by the North last November against Yeongpyeong Island, which killed two marines and two civilians. The South has sent more troops and weaponry to the islands since the attack.

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S. Korea Holds Live-Fire Drill Near Tense Border

South Korea launched a major live-fire drill Thursday near the tense land border with North Korea in a show of strength marking the first anniversary of the sinking of one of its warships.

Tanks, armored personnel carriers, artillery pieces, helicopters and jets took part in the drill at the Pocheon range, 30 kilometers south of the border, the defense ministry said.

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N. Korea Vows ‘Physical' Response to U.S.-South Korea War Games

North Korea Tuesday threatened a military response to ongoing U.S.-South Korean military drills, blasting them as preparations for a nuclear war of aggression against it.

Seoul and Washington say the annual war games which began Monday are routine and defensive in nature, but Pyongyang calls them a rehearsal for invasion.

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U.S., S. Korea Launch War Games Amid Threats by Pyongyang

U.S. and South Korean troops on Monday launched major annual land, sea and air exercises, amid North Korean threats to turn Seoul into a "sea of flames" in the event of any provocation.

The Key Resolve/Foal Eagle drills are the first of their type since the communist state's deadly shelling of a South Korean border island last November.

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North Korea Warns it Would Attack South over Joint Drills with U.S.

North Korea's military threatened Sunday to fire at South Korea, as Seoul prepared to start annual joint drills with U.S. troops — maneuvers Pyongyang says are a rehearsal for an invasion.

The North's military warned that it would shoot directly at South Korean border towns and destroy them if Seoul continued to allow activists to launch propaganda leaflets toward the communist country, Pyongyang's official Korean Central News Agency said. The warning was conveyed to South Korea's military earlier Sunday, it said.

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South, North Korean Talks End Without Agreement

Military officers from North and South Korea Wednesday ended two days of talks without reaching agreement, Yonhap news agency reported.

The South's defense ministry said it could not immediately confirm the report.

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SKorea's Lee Open to Summit with Kim Jong Il Amid Defense Talks Next Week

South Korea's president pressed North Korea on Tuesday to change its pattern of provocations and take responsibility for two deadly attacks last year, saying that could lead to a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Il.

President Lee Myung-bak's appeal came as the rival Koreas are to hold a preliminary meeting next week to lay the groundwork for high-level defense talks — the first in more than three years — to ease months of hostility on the Korean peninsula that have raised fears of war.

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Could the Next Messi Be in North Korea?

North Korea may have tumbled out of the Asian Cup with just one point and having failed to score, but they have the hottest youth sides in the region and according to one scout the world's best new talents.

Representatives from top European clubs have flocked to the continental showpiece in the hope of picking out the next Hidetoshi Nakata, Park Ji-Sung or even a Lionel Messi.

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S.Korean Army Chief Quits Amid Tension with Pyongyang

South Korea's army chief resigned Tuesday over a controversial property investment, at a time of high tensions with North Korea following its deadly artillery attack on a border island last month.

The departure of General Hwang Eui-Don is a further blow to the South's military, widely criticized for a perceived feeble response to the North's bombardment, which triggered international alarm.

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U.S. Says It's Committed to Defend SKorea, Vows More Joint Drills

The top U.S. military officer on Wednesday warned North Korea that the U.S. commitment to helping South Korea defend itself is "unquestioned," even as he pressed China to use its influence to push its ally Pyongyang to change.

Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, the U.S. chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, called recent North Korean aggression, including an artillery attack last month that killed four South Koreans, "belligerent, reckless behavior." He said China appeared unwilling to use its enormous leverage to rein in the North.

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