The military troops of the US and South Korea will conduct massive live-fire exercises near the North Korean border on Thursday. Despite North Korea’s warning that it will not tolerate what it calls an invasion rehearsal on its doorstep.
Thursday’s manoeuvres, the first of the allies’ five rounds of firing exercises until mid-June. Commemorate the 70th anniversary of the establishment of Seoul and Washington’s military alliance. Typically, North Korea has responded to such large-scale South Korean-U.S. exercises with missile and other weapon tests.
Since the beginning of 2022, North Korea has test-fired more than 100 missiles. But none since mid-April, when it launched an intercontinental ballistic missile powered by solid propellant. North Korea has asserted that its frenzied pace of nuclear tests was a response to the expanded military exercises between the US and South Korea. However, observers assert that the North’s true objective is to advance its weapons development and eventually extract greater concessions from its rivals through diplomacy.
“The combined annihilation firepower drills”
The U.S. and South Korean firing exercises, dubbed “the combined annihilation firepower drills,” would be the largest of their kind. Since their inception in 1977, the exercises have been conducted eleven times, according to the South Korean Defence Ministry.
South Korean and American stealth fighters, attack helicopters, tanks, and numerous rocket launch systems will participate in this year’s exercises, according to ministry officials. It was not immediately clear how many troops would participate in the manoeuvres, but previous exercises in 2017 — the most recent prior to this year — included approximately 2,000 soldiers and 250 weapons assets from both nations.
The purpose of the exercises, according to a previous Defence Ministry statement, is to enhance the combined operational performance capabilities of the allies. South Korea and the United States will establish “overwhelming deterrence and response capabilities” to counter North Korean nuclear and missile threats, according to the document.
North Korean state media referred to the exercises as “a typical war rehearsal aimed at North Korea” on Friday. It stated that North Korea “cannot help but take a more serious note of the fact” that the exercises would be held a few kilometres (miles) from its border.
KCNA stated that the United States and South Korea will encounter unspecified “corresponding responses” in response to their series of provocative, large-scale drills.
The United States and South Korea conducted their largest field exercises in five years earlier this year. The United States also sent the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Nimitz and nuclear-capable bombers to South Korea for joint exercises.