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S.Korea’s Defence chief calls for realistic training to end N.Korean regime in event of invasion

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Seoul, March 7

South Korea’s Defence Minister Shin Won-sik on Thursday called on troops to conduct “realistic” training to ensure the end of the North Korean regime if it invades South Korea, his office said, amid an ongoing South Korea-US exercise that began earlier this week.

Shin made the call as he visited a key military bunker operated by the Capital Defence Command in Seoul after the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un called for bolstering military drills to contain the “slightest attempt to ignite a war” by his country’s enemies, Yonhap news agency reported.

The Minister dismissed the remark as an attempt to promote unity within North Korea’s “unstable” internal system and sow division in South Korea, describing the allies’ latest Freedom Shield exercise as defensive.

“Make all-out efforts for realistic practice and training to ensure the end of the Kim Jong-un regime in the shortest period of time if the enemy invades South Korea,” Shin said.

Pyongyang has long denounced the allies’ military drills as rehearsals for an invasion against it, with its Defence Ministry warning on Tuesday that Seoul and Washington would pay a “dear price” over the latest exercise set to end next week.

Shin said there is a possibility of North Korea undertaking various provocations during the exercise period, and instructed officials for immediate retaliation, according to his office.

Separately, Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) Chairman Admiral Kim Myung-soo and US Forces Korea Commander General Paul LaCamera visited Osan Air Base in Pyeongtaek, 60 km south of Seoul, to check troop readiness, according to the JCS.

At the base, Admiral Kim called for efforts to maintain a combined readiness posture to ensure a strong response against North Korea in the event of a provocation, it said.

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