The US and South Korea have launched eight surface-to-surface missiles in a combined live-fire exercise, a day after North Korea conducted ballistic missile tests.
According to a US Indo-Pacific Command (USINDOPACOM) statement, the US Forces Korea, and Republic of Korea (ROK) militaries fired the missiles from the northeast of South Korea into the Sea of Japan to demonstrate the ability of the combined forces to swiftly respond to a crisis.
The tests included one US Army missile and seven ROK missiles.
“The ROK-US Alliance remains committed to peace and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula and throughout the Indo-Pacific. The US commitment to the defence of the ROK remains ironclad,” the statement added.
North Korea previously test fired eight short-range ballistic missiles. The missiles travelled between 110km and 600km at altitudes between 25km and 90km, Reuters reported, quoting South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Following the tests, the USINDOPACOM said that the launches do not pose an immediate threat to US personnel, territory, or to its allies.
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It also noted that such tests highlight the ‘destabilising impact’ of North Korea’s weapons programme.
North Korea has increased missile testing this year.
Last month, the reclusive nation fired two missiles and a suspected intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). The ICBM was reportedly the Hwasong-17 and it flew approximately 360km to a maximum altitude of 540km.
The US and South Korea recently concluded joint military drills. The exercises involved American aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan and other warships.