A 35th Fighter Squadron F-16 Fighting Falcon takes off Oct. 28 during Max Thunder 13-2 at Kunsan Air Base, South Korea. The US and Republic of Korea air forces kicked off the 11th Max Thunder exercise. (Senior Airman Armando A. Schwier-Morales / US Air)
SEOUL — South Korea on Monday deployed destroyers, jet fighters, attack helicopters and rocket launchers in a major live-fire drill against the threat of North Korea landing troops, the defence ministry said.
“The joint live-fire drill was aimed at repelling landings by enemy forces along the east coast,” a ministry spokesman told AFP.
South Korea has carried out a series of recent military exercises — both alone and jointly with allied nations — sparking angry condemnations from the North and threats of counter-attacks that have not materialised.
Earlier this month, Pyongyang threatened “all out war” following a two-day drill involving a US nuclear-powered aircraft carrier alongside South Korean and Japanese vessels began off the southern coast of the Korean Peninsula.
Tensions on the Korean Peninsula have been blowing hot and cold for months.
They soared at the beginning of the year after the North’s third nuclear test in February, but then appeared to enter a rapprochement stage that saw the two rivals agree to reopen their joint industrial park in Kaesong.
The mood quickly soured again when Pyongyang cancelled a scheduled reunion last month for family members separated by the Korean War.