Seoul Prepares for North Korea’s Threats: New Civil Defense Drill Introduced
30 Participants, Including Water Safety, Police, and Firefighters
Seoul City is set to conduct a unified civil defense drill in cooperation with the Army, Police, and Firefighters to prepare for North Korea’s localized provocations. Unlike previous years, this exercise will include outdoor maneuver training (FTX) for the first time in downtown Seoul, following the regular unified defense meeting, with participation from civilians, government officials, military, and police.
On the 27th, Seoul City officially announced its plans to hold the unified civil defense drill at the Chungmu Secret Room in Seoul City Hall. Joining forces in this endeavor will be the Unified Defense Headquarters, the Army Capital Defense Command, the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency, and the Seoul Fire and Disaster Headquarters.
Local governments will independently implement this drill as part of their established plan and conduct annual drills such as the Eulji civil defense drill, the Chungmu drill, and the Hwarang drill. It is unprecedented for civilians, government officials, military, police, and firefighters to conduct outdoor maneuver training jointly.
Security Measures for Potential Security Crisis in Seoul
Recent Escalations in North Korean Threats
A spokesperson from Seoul City offered insight into the purpose of this exercise, saying, “We have organized this training to proactively assess response protocols and develop security measures in case of a security crisis in Seoul. Recent escalations in North Korean nuclear and missile threats, along with airspace violations by enemy drones, have necessitated these preparations.”
The Unified Defense Meeting will see approximately 30 participants, including Seoul Mayor Oh Se Hoon, who serves as the ex-officio chairman of the City’s Unified Defense Council; Jinwoo Lee, the Capital Defense Commander; Kwangho Kim, the Chief of Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency, and Kiseok Hwang, the Chief of Seoul Fire and Disaster Headquarters.
Mayor Oh will receive a comprehensive briefing addressing the evolving security landscape in the city due to North Korea’s military reconnaissance satellite launch and the subsequent termination of the 9·19 South-North Military Agreement. He will oversee and direct the integrated performance of civilians, government officials, military personnel, and police to safeguard Seoul, the nation’s capital and a hub of critical national functions.
Safeguarding Seoul as the Nation’s Capital
City’s Ongoing Efforts
The city’s agenda includes evaluating the preparedness of various agencies for diverse training scenarios, such as mass infiltrations, unforeseen explosions, and fires during outdoor maneuver training. Additionally, they plan to assess the counter-terrorism capabilities of critical national facilities.
Seoul City has been actively formulating strategies to protect the lives of its residents and enhance overall safety in the capital. This has included convening two security forums on wartime defense measures since November, recognizing the city’s high-level integration of cutting-edge technology, electricity, communication, and data systems.
Mayor Oh emphasized, “The enemy could instigate provocations at any moment, such as North Korean drones violating Seoul’s airspace, a mere 24 miles away from the ceasefire line. Prioritizing the principle that ‘security is the cornerstone of well-being,’ we are committed to ensuring the genuine safety of our citizens and Seoul.”
By. Chae Bin Kim