South Korea and the US will conduct their largest-ever live-fire drills on Thursday to mark the 70th anniversary of countries’ alliance.
The Combined Joint Live-Fire Exercise, the first of its kind in six years, will take place at the Seungjin Fire Training Field, also known as the Nightmare Range, in Pocheon, 52 km northeast of Seoul, reports quoted officials as saying.
The exercise comes as cross-border tensions remain high due to North Korea’s push to develop menacing weapons systems, such as underwater nuclear attack drones and a solid-fuel rocket, which critics said was disguised as a space launch vehicle.
It is expected to be a showcase of the allies’ formidable firepower represented by their mainstay weapons systems, such as F-35A radar-evading fighters, AH-64 Apache attack helicopters, K2 battle tanks and multiple launch rocket systems.
The US could deploy A-10 attack aircraft and F-16 fighter jets.
Observers said it could draw an angry reaction from North Korea.
The allies plan to conduct the exercise four more times next month — on June 2, 7, 12 and 15.
The last such exercise took place in 2017 and mobilized 48 South Korean and US units, and over 2,000 troops. IANS