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South Korea conducts largest live-fire joint military drills with U.S.

South Korean and U.S. forces began their largest-ever live-fire exercises on Thursday, simulating a “full-scale attack” from North Korea, South Korea’s Defense Ministry said.

Some 2,500 troops from the South and the United States participated as the five-day drills kicked off in Pocheon near the border with the North, the ministry said. Multiple tanks, howitzers, and fighter jets were also involved, it added.

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 said in a news release.

The largest military exercises in the history of this country were held in South Korea. In addition to the soldiers of South Korea, there were also soldiers of the United States of America at the training grounds.

— Spriter (@Spriter99880) May 25, 2023

Last week, North Korea’s state media reported that leader Kim Jong Un had approved final preparations for the launch of the North’s first military spy satellite. Analysts say the satellite will advance the country’s surveillance capability enabling it to strike targets more accurately in the event of a conflict.

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Kim has said the planned launch of its first spy satellite was necessary to counter perceived threats from the U.S. and South Korea.

U.S. and South Korean forces have been carrying out various types of military training, including air and sea drills involving American B-1B bombers in recent months after diplomatic efforts and COVID-19 restrictions led to many drills being scaled back.

North Korea reacted to those drills by test-launching ballistic missiles, conducting its own exercises, and threatening to use force if necessary.

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