South Korea and the United States are conducting live-fire exercises near the border with North Korea
Seoul, South Korea – armies of South Korea America and the United States prepared for a large maneuver with live fire near the border on Thursday North KoreaDespite warnings from Pyongyang that it would not tolerate what it described as a rehearsal for a hostile invasion at its gates.
Thursday’s exercise, the first of five firing exercises by the two allies scheduled through mid-JuneCelebrated on the 70th anniversary of the military alliance between Seoul and Washington. On other occasions, North Korea has reacted to such large-scale exercises with tests of missiles and other weapons.
Since the beginning of 2022, North Korea has conducted more than 100 missile tests, but none since launching a solid-fueled ICBM in mid-April. Pyongyang claims the rapid succession of tests is in response to increased US and South Korean military exercises, although experts believe North Korea is trying to advance its weapons development and then winning concessions from rivals in the subsequent diplomatic process.
The exercise planned by South Korea and the United States, called the “Joint Destructive Firepower Maneuver”, will be the largest ever. According to the South Korean Defense Ministry, the exercise has been conducted 11 times since it began in 1977.
Ministry officials said this year’s exercise would involve stealth fighter jets from the US and South Korea, helicopter gunships, tanks and multiple rocket launchers. It was initially unclear how many troops would take part, although previous exercises in 2017 – the most recent until this year – mobilized around 2,000 troops and 250 weapons assets from both countries.