Military forces of the US and South Korea have conducted a series of joint drills in response to North Korea’s (DPRK) recent testing of ballistic and nuclear weapons.
According to a Yonhap News Agency (YNA) report, South Korea’s military has claimed that the bilateral drills involved the launch of four ground-to-ground missiles into the East Sea on 5 October.
The US and South Korea also fired two Army Tactical Missile System (ATacMS) missiles each.
Following the launch, the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) reported that the missiles accurately intercepted the mock targets, showcasing the deterrence capability of both the countries.
The two nations also conducted a ‘bombing drill’ with their fighter aircraft in the Yellow Sea.
The drills come just a day after DPRK test-fired an intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) from the northern province of Jagang in Mupyong-ri, North Korea.
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A Reuters’ report claimed that the missile flew approximately 4,600km, following a trajectory over Japan, before landing in the Pacific Ocean. It was the first such launch in five years.
Responding to DPRK’s missile launch, US State Department Secretary Antony Blinken, during his visit to Chile, said that the US, Japan, and South Korea are working to strengthen trilateral deterrent and defensive capabilities.
Blinken said: “I think what we’re seeing is that if they continue down this road, it will only increase the condemnation, increase isolation, increase steps that are taken in response to their actions.”
South Korea, Japan, and other UN member nations issued a joint statement condemning DPRK’s ballistic missile provocation.
The statement read: “[We] strongly condemn DPRK’s long-range ballistic missile launch, which overflew Japan on 4 October, and its seven other ballistic missile launches conducted since 25 September. The DPRK has now launched over 35 ballistic missiles this year alone.”