SEOUL – The air forces of South Korea and the United States have conducted joint air maneuvers in the Korean peninsula amid tensions with Pyongyang, the United States Pacific Command said.
The military exercise was carried out on an unspecified date and involved the units of several regiments of the two countries, according to the USPACOM.
“The field exercise allowed the ROK (South Korea’s official name) and US troops to gain familiarity with each other’s weapon systems and capabilities, with an end goal of building an enduring partnership between the two units,” the organization said in a statement on Friday.
This the first time the allies conducted short range air defense training on the Korean Peninsula, aimed at “de-conflicting engagements of enemy aircraft based on sector of fire, and utilizing secondary means of targeting enemy aircraft when their primary weapon system becomes combat ineffective,” the statement added.
The military exercises have been reported during a week in which South Korea displayed its military strength on its Armed Forces Day amid escalating tensions between the North Korean regime and Washington, an ally of the Seoul government.
North Korea launched its first intercontinental ballistic missiles in recent months and conducted a nuclear test on Sept. 3.
This led the United Nations Security Council to impose new sanctions on the country, which were welcomed by South Korea who, however, has asked the international community to implement them strictly.
After a recent escalation in the rhetoric between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, the media of the Pyongyang regime reported that around 4.7 million citizens have volunteered to join the ranks of the Korean People’s Army.
In a statement issued on Sept. 22, Kim Jong-un had criticized the speech given by Trump at the UN General Assembly, in which he threatened to “totally destroy” North Korea.