South Korea and the United States began their first joint naval exercises in five years, the day after Pyongyang launched a ballistic missile. UNN writes about it with reference to AFP.
Washington is Seoul's key security ally and deploys about 28,500 troops in South Korea to protect against the nuclear-armed North.
South Korean President Yun Suk-yol, who took office in May, has pledged to step up joint military exercises with the United States after years of failed diplomacy with the North under his predecessor..
"These drills were prepared to demonstrate the strong will of the South Korea-U.S. alliance to respond to North Korean provocations," the South's navy said in a statement.
More than 20 ships and a number of aircraft will take part in the four-day drills on South Korea's east coast, conducting anti-ship and anti-submarine operations, tactical maneuvers and other maritime operations.
The allies have long conducted joint exercises, which, according to them, are purely defensive in nature. However, North Korea sees them as a rehearsal for an invasion.
Last month, the United States and South Korea held their largest joint military drills since 2018 - a resumption of large-scale exercises cut short by Covid-19.
The drills come a day after nuclear-armed Pyongyang fired another ballistic missile, the latest of its record-breaking weapons tests this year.
North Korea is under several sets of international sanctions over its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs.
Seoul has also revealed signs that the North is preparing to launch an underwater-launched ballistic missile, the presidential office said Saturday, a weapon Pyongyang last tested in May.
Earlier this month, the North revised its nuclear law, enshrining a "first strike" doctrine and vowing never to give up nuclear weapons.
Author - Serhii Kolomiets, 27/09/2022