Seoul, Washington conduct military drills amid North Korea threat

Seoul, Aug 29 (EFE).- Seoul and Washington have carried out large-scale joint military drills to boost defense systems amid North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats, the South Korean army reported Tuesday.

The Ulchi Freedom Shield exercise with some 100 troops and was led by special operations commanders of both armies off the coast of Yangyang, in northeastern South Korea.

Maneuvers were carried out “to strengthen the response posture and capabilities against North Korea’s escalating nuclear and missile threats,” South Korea’s military said.

Troops conducted amphibious landing and infiltration maneuvers to jointly test special offensive operations and held hand-to-hand combat and assistance to wounded personnel exercises.

The landing took place in the early hours on Monday near Yangyang as soldiers came ashore on inflatable boats, eliminating guard troops and conducting attack operations that included assaults on key facilities, according to South Korea’s military.

Pyongyang has accused the US and South Korea of rehearsing an invasion of North Korea through joint military drills and has warned these could trigger a “thermonuclear war”.

South Korea’s Navy on Tuesday announced it had carried out a missile defensive exercise near Jeju island (south), with Japan and the US.

The military drills featured three Aegis-equipped destroyers —South Korea’s ROKS Yulgok Yi I, the U.S.’ USS Benfold and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force’s JS Haguro— South Korea’s Navy said.

The drills come a week after North Korea’s botched attempt to launch a spy satellite into space.

Japan and South Korea have warned the launch was a covert test of intercontinental ballistic missile technology, which Pyongyang has been banned from carrying out by the United Nations Security Council.

North Korean media reported that Kim Jong-un visited Pyongyang’s Navy headquarters Tuesday, where he warned that the strengthened cooperation between Seoul, Tokyo and Washington had turned the seas around the peninsula into unstable waters “with the danger of nuclear war”.EFE


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