Seoul and Washington conduct live-fire drills near the border with North Korea

Seoul, January 4 (EFE).- The armies of South Korea and the United States today conducted maneuvers with live fire near the border with North Korea, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said in a statement. What represents a new action highlighting military escalation on the Korean Peninsula.

The maneuver involves infantry units and has been held since December 29 in the city of Pocheon, 45 kilometers northeast of Seoul.

According to a JCS statement, the exercise, which will continue till January 5, seeks to improve the interoperability capabilities of the allies.

110 different South Korean and American weapon systems participated in the exercise, including armored vehicles such as K1A2 tanks, K-600, A-10 fighter jets or artillery systems.

Earlier today, North Korean media strongly criticized the maneuvers, with state agency KCNA describing the drills in Pocheon as “self-destructive” actions, along with several live-fire maneuvers conducted by the South Korean navy on Wednesday.

In turn, JCS spokesman Lee Sung-jun said at a press conference today that the North Korean army is already conducting its traditional winter maneuvers before the end of the year.

These North Korean drills usually last until the spring and usually include artillery drills.

Coinciding with the end of the year, North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, said there was no longer any possibility of reconciliation or reunification with the South and that his regime would continue to strengthen its nuclear and missile programs, while the South’s president, Eun Suk-yeol, announced his New Year’s resolution. The speech emphasized that Seoul and Washington will modernize their deterrence strategy this year, which now includes a nuclear option.

After the failure of denuclearization talks with Washington in 2019, Pyongyang approved plans to modernize its weapons — including deploying military satellites and conducting numerous missile tests — while rejecting the resumption of dialogue and demanding better relations with Beijing and Moscow. .

Meanwhile, Seoul and Washington have strengthened military cooperation with Tokyo and strengthened their deterrence mechanism by increasing their joint maneuvers and increasingly deploying US strategic assets on the peninsula.

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