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U.S. Forces Korea says PAC-3 unit temporarily brought from Japan for drills

All News 11:36 July 22, 2016

SEOUL, July 22 (Yonhap) -- The U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) on Friday said a Patriot PAC-3 battery was temporarily relocated from Japan for a U.S.-Korea joint military drill under way in the country amid escalating saber-rattling by North Korea.

A PAC-3 unit arrived in Busan, South Korea's No. 1 seaport, on July 13 and is currently being used in a drill, in which South Korean forces are participating, in Gunsan, 274 kilometers south of Seoul, according to the United States Eighth Army.

"The drill is aimed at rapidly transporting the U.S. antimissile unit from Japan to South Korea by ship in case of a conflict on the Korean Peninsula. After the two-week joint military exercise, the PAC-3 unit will be shipped back to Japan," a USFK official said.

It is the first time for the USFK to bring a PAC-3 system from Japan into South Korea for a drill.

South Korea and U.S. forces here already have Patriot missile batteries operating in the country.

The move comes amid growing worries over the North's continued nuclear and missile threats.

In its latest provocations, North Korea conducted a ballistic missile launch with the aim of practicing pre-emptive strikes against ports and airfields in the South on Tuesday. It launched two mid-range Rodong and one shorter-range Scud missiles, according to South Korea's military.

kyongae.choi@yna.co.kr
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