JCS chief visits Navy, Army units, calls for firm readiness

South Korea's top military officer on Thursday visited units in charge of coastal and maritime defense to check their readiness amid growing concerns about the possibility of a North Korean nuclear test.

Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) Chairman Gen. Won In-choul inspected the Navy's Second Fleet Command in Pyeongtaek, 70 kilometers south of Seoul, and a radar unit of the Army's 51st Infantry Division in Hwaseong, 40 km south of the capital.

At the command, Won called for readiness against any "ambush" provocations as he led a virtual meeting of key naval commanders.

"Given that the North can stage not only strategic provocations like ballistic missile launches or a nuclear test, but also tactical ones in border regions or frontline waters anytime, we should not allow it to launch an ambush," Won said.

"We will maintain capabilities and a readiness posture to sternly respond to any provocation and end on-site operations in a victory," he added.

Won also called for preparations against possible incidents near the Northern Limit Line, the de facto inter-Korean sea border, like North Korean patrol boats' entry into South Korean waters.

In a separate visit to the radar unit, Won directed officials to ensure surveillance equipment and facilities remain in top condition and to carry out successful operations to handle enemy infiltrations or other scenarios.

His visit came as the military is tightening up defense in the wake of the North's continued missile launches, including that of an apparent submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) last week, and signs that it is preparing for a nuclear experiment.

Source: Yonhap News Agency