South Korea has launched a major week-long exercise off the south-eastern port of Pohang, Seoul, to test troops’ capability to conduct beach assaults and landings.

Thousands of troops including 2,000 marines, anti-submarine aircraft, dozens of jet fighters, 15 navy ships and 21 armoured landing vehicles will be participating in the exercise.

The exercise is the first major South Korean joint landing drill since the artillery attack by North Korea in November 2010.

The exercises include simulations of beach assaults in wartime, operations of landing vehicles from naval ships and training aimed at detecting and eliminating sea mines.

South Korean and US troops have recently conducted computerised joint war games and joint field training on two frontline islands near the sea border.