South Korea will call for people to clear off the streets when it conducts its first nationwide civil defense drills in six years, which come as North Korea made a fresh threat of nuclear war on the peninsula.
(Bloomberg) — South Korea will call for people to clear off the streets when it conducts its first nationwide civil defense drills in six years, which come as North Korea made a fresh threat of nuclear war on the peninsula.
The scheduled 20-minute exercise will begin with an air-raid warning siren at 2:00 p.m., according to the Ministry of the Interior and Safety. After the siren starts, drivers in certain areas of Seoul will be required to park or pull over, while pedestrians must move to the nearest safe-haven or underground shelter for about 15 minutes.
Wednesday’s exercise coincides with joint military drills between the US and South Korea, known as Ulchi Freedom Shield that started on Monday.
North Korea has condemned the drills, calling them a “war rehearsal” and said it could “punish the hostile forces threatening the sovereignty of our state,” the state’s official Korean Central News Agency reported Tuesday. Pyongyang says an unprecedented large-scale “thermonuclear war” is approaching the Korean Peninsula.
The resumption of the nationwide civil defense drill also comes after a false alarm by Seoul city created panic on May 31 when North Korea fired a space rocket, which failed soon after launch and plunged into the Yellow Sea hundreds of kilometers away. Residents in the country’s biggest city received an erroneous mobile push alert telling them to seek shelter but the rare warning confused citizens who didn’t know where the shelters were.
Operations of hospitals, subways, trains, airplanes and vessels won’t be affected by the drills on Wednesday.
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