The media of North Korea called the plans of South Korea, Japan and the United States to share real-time data on the missile launches by the regime of Kim Jong-un as “sinister measures” as the Jong-un government lashed out at South for carrying out live-fire exercises with the US.
The leaders of the US, Japan and South Korea met at the G7 summit in Hiroshima, Japan and discussed new co-ordination in the wake of illicit nuclear and missile threats from North Korea.
A series of missile and weapons tests have been undertaken by North Korea in recent months, the most recent being in a new solid-fuel intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).
The missile and nuclear weapons programmes of North Korea are banned by the UN security council.
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US and South Korea start live-fire exercises
The US and South Korean forces started the live-fire exercises on Thursday, which simulated a “full-scale attack” launched by North Korea, which they called as the biggest such drill to display the “overwhelming” military capability of the South against the growing threats of North.
Howitzers were fired in Pocheon’s mountainside near North Korea’s fortified border. Meanwhile, manoeuvring battle tanks fired their guns at the targets, which sent dust, smoke as well as shockwaves across the valley.
Around 2,500 troops from the United States and South Korea participated in the exercises. These exercises will be carried out four more times from now until mid-June, stated South Korea’s defence ministry.
“The exercise demonstrated our military’s capability and readiness to strongly respond to North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats and to a full-scale attack,” the ministry added in a press release, vowing to maintain “peace through overwhelming strength”.
WATCH | US and South Korea hold live-fire drills, 5-day exercise kicks off in Pocheon | World News | WION
North Korea’s first military spy satellite
Last week, the state media of North Korea reported that final approval was given by their leader Kim Jong Un for final preparations for launching the country’s first military spy satellite.
Kim stated that it is important for the country to counter threats from South Korea and the US. Analysts stated that the satellite will improve the surveillance capability of North Korea which will enable it to hit targets more accurately when it engages in a war.
In recent commercial satellite imagery, progress made on the new launch pad in the satellite launching station of North could be seen, with activity appearing to be carried out with a “new level of urgency” for the launch, stated the US-based monitoring group 38 North.
The forces of South Korea and the US have been carrying out multiple training exercises in recent months, which included air and sea drills involving US B-1B bombers.
North Korea has angrily reacted to the drills which it characterised as preparations being carried out by US and South Korean forces for an invasion.
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