South Korea, US troops to hold massive live-fire drills near border with North Korea

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA: Korean and US militaries prepare to start major drills Real bullet shooting practice near the border with North Korea on Thursday, despite warnings from the North that it would not tolerate what it called a hostile invasion maneuver on its doorstep.
Thursday’s drills, the first of five by the allies until mid-June, mark 70 years since the establishment of the military alliance between Seoul and Washington. North Korea usually reacts to such big problems. Korea-US drills with rockets and other weapon testing.
Since the beginning of 2022, North Korea has test-fired more than 100 missiles but none since it fired a solid-fuel intercontinental ballistic missile in mid-April. North Korea has argued. that its dizzying pace of testing is in response to extensive military exercises between the US and South Korea, but observers say North Korea wants to accelerate its weapons development and then win approval. greater concessions from rivals in ultimate diplomacy.
The US – South Korea exercise, called the “combined firepower exercise,” will be the largest of its kind. South Korea’s defense ministry said the drills have been held 11 times since they began in 1977.
Ministry officials said this year’s exercise involved advanced stealth fighters, attack helicopters, tanks and multiple missile launchers from South Korea and the United States. It is not clear how many troops will take part in the exercise, but previous exercises in 2017 – the most recent before this year – attracted around 2,000 troops and 250 weapons properties from both countries.
An earlier statement from the Ministry of Defense said the exercise was aimed at enhancing the allies’ ability to work together. It said South Korea and the United States would seek to establish “overwhelming deterrence and response capabilities” to counter North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats.
Last Friday, North Korean state media called the drills “a typical North Korean war drill”. It said North Korea “couldn’t help but take the fact more seriously” that the drills would be held in an area several kilometers (miles) from its border.
KCNA said the US and South Korea would face unspecified “corresponding responses” to their series of large-scale, provocative drills.
Earlier this year, the South Korean and American militaries conducted their largest military exercises in five years. The US also sent the nuclear-powered USS Nimitz aircraft carrier and nuclear-capable bombers to the joint exercises with South Korea.
Moon Seong Mook, an analyst with Seoul-based Korea Institute for National Strategic Studies, said North Korea could use the South Korea-US drills as an excuse to resume operations. tested to achieve its stated goal of modernizing its arsenal. He said domestic issues such as North Korea’s push to increase agricultural output during the rice-growing season could still influence the country’s decision on weapons tests.
“North Korea cannot help but feel the burden of the South Korea-U.S. joint military drills being held for the first time in six years and at the strongest level,” Moon said. submarine-launched ballistic missiles or short-range ballistic weapons.
During their summit last month, U.S. President Joe Biden and South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol announced steps to bolster their deterrence, such as U.S. nuclear-armed submarines. periodically docking in Korea; strengthen joint drills; and the establishment of a new nuclear advisory group. Biden also issued a blunt warning that any North Korean nuclear attack on the United States or its allies would “result in any regime” taking such action.
Kim Yo Jong, the powerful sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, later said the Biden-Yoon summit agreement showed the two countries’ “most hostile and aggressive will to act” against North Korea. . She threatened to further strengthen her country’s nuclear theory of escalation, saying, “The utopian dream of the United States and South Korea will henceforth be confronted by an entity of greater power. “
Worries about North Korea’s nuclear program increased after North Korea last year enacted a law allowing for the pre-emptive use of nuclear weapons. Many foreign experts believe that North Korea still does not possess a working nuclear missile.


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