Seoul: North Korea may attempt surprise attacks across the sea border with South Korea after practising marine infiltration drills, Seoul`s defence minister said today.
Kim Kwan-Jin told lawmakers the drills began after the ice started to thaw and warned of the possibility of "various types of surprise local provocations" targeting the South.
"There are also frequent visits by (the North`s) senior commanders to military posts and activities to keep (troops) ready for operations," Kim said.
He added the North`s military continued its usual operations despite severe food and fuel shortages plaguing the impoverished country.
Cross-border military tension has been acute since the North`s November shelling of an island near the flashpoint border off the west coast that killed four South Koreans including two civilians.
Tension continued to run high last month as the South staged major military drills to mark the first anniversary of the North`s alleged sinking of a Seoul warship that killed 46 sailors.
On land, the launch of anti-Pyongyang leaflets across the border has angered the North, which threatened to open fire on launch sites.
The leaflets contained news of uprisings that ousted dictators in the Arab World and criticisms of leader Kim Jong-Il, who has ruled the North with an iron fist for decades.
Minister Kim said Seoul was ready to "take appropriate actions" should the North attack a balloon launch.