South Korea will hold a military drill this week on a border island shelled by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in 2010, marking the second anniversary of an attack that triggered fears of a full-scale conflict.
Friday's drill will feature field and simulated exercises by marines stationed on Yeonpyeong island as well as other naval forces, a Marine Corps spokesman said.
"The exercise will be held... based on various scenarios of provocations and attacks by the enemy," he said on Monday.
The spokesman said the drill would not involve any live-fire exercises -- a possible compromise aimed at averting a military response from Pyongyang.
The November 23, 2010 shelling of the island left two South Korean marines as well as two civilians dead in one of the most serious border incidents since the Korean War.
South Korea's military went on top alert, its troops responded with cannon fire and the government met in an underground war room.
DPRK said the attack was in response to a live-fire drill by the South, which, it claimed, had resulted in shells falling on its side of the disputed Yellow Sea border.
Since the Yeonpyeong shelling, South Korea has increased troop numbers and upgraded its defenses on frontline islands in the area.