Seoul, Nov 4 (EFE).- The South Korean army will carry out a computerized military exercise next week amid a record number of missile launches by North Korea in response to air drills carried out by Seoul and Washington, which have now been extended.
The Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said Friday that its annual Taeguk exercise, computer simulated command post drills that do not include field deployments, will be held between Nov. 7-11.
“This exercise will master the practical mission capability in preparation for various threats such as North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs and recent provocations,” the JCS said in a statement.
Shortly after the announcement, Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup said in Washington, where he is visiting United States counterpart Lloyd Austin, that their joint Vigilant Storm large-scale air exercises will be extended to Saturday.
After Pyongyang launched almost 30 missiles of various types over Wednesday and Thursday in protest against Vigilant Storm, the allies had already announced that these exercises, which involve some 240 aircraft and were to end Friday, would be prolonged, but did not specify by how long.
Lee’s announcement also comes hours after he and Austin agreed to reinforce the so-called “extended deterrence” in four specific categories – information sharing, consultation process, joint planning and execution – in which Seoul’s role has so far been limited or non-existent, in light of the latest North Korean actions.
The extended deterrence is a commitment made in May by Washington with Seoul that consists of sending US strategic assets to the Korean Peninsula “in a timely and coordinated manner as necessary” based on the actions of the North.
Tension on the peninsula is heightened amid repeated North Korean weapons tests, drills by allies and the possibility that, as satellites indicate, Kim Jong-un’s regime is ready to carry out its first nuclear test since 2017. EFE