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(2nd LD) S. Korea's military holds precision-strike drills

All News 14:11 July 06, 2017

(ATTN: UPDATES with S. Korea-U.S. Marine training in paras 6-9; ADDS photo)

SEOUL, July 6 (Yonhap) -- In yet another show of force against North Korea, South Korea's Navy and Air Force conducted joint live-fire drills in the East Sea on Thursday, officials said.

The exercise involved the 3,200-ton Yang Manchun destroyer, the 2,500-ton Chungbuk frigate, 13 other warships, the P-3C Orion maritime surveillance aircraft and Lynx multi-role planes, as well as FA-5, F-4E and KF-16 tactical fighter jets.

They launched various types of guided missiles, including the Harpoon, Haeseong-I and AGM-65 Maverick, against an enemy's simulated maritime attack, according to the officials.

South Korea's 3,200-ton Yang Manchun destroyer fires a Harpoon guided missile during a joint exercise with the Air Force in the East Sea on July 6, 2017, in this photo provided by the Navy. (Yonhap)

It came two days after the North fired a missile with intercontinental range.

"Our military is fully ready for an immediate response even in the event of combat today," said Rear Adm. Kwon Jeong-seop, commander of the Navy's Maritime Battle Group 1.

Meanwhile, South Korean and American Marines are staging a "combined tactics" practice as part of their regular Korea Marine Exercise Program (KMEP).

More than 420 service members of South Korea's 1st Marine Division are participating in the three-week training that kicked off June 19 off South Korea's southeast coast, joined by around 260 U.S. Marines of the 3rd Marine Division based in Okinawa, Japan.

South Korean and U.S. Marines conduct a joint training as part of the Korea Marine Exercise Program (KMEP) in this undated photo provided by South Korea's Marine Corps. (Yonhap)

The U.S. has especially deployed various types of equipment, including Humvees, decontamination vehicles and Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) robots, for the exercise, according to the South's Marine Corps.

It's aimed at improving the interoperability of the allies' Marine Corps forces at the tactical level.

On Wednesday, South Korea test-launched a Hyunmoo-2A ballistic missile into the East Sea in a combined missile training with the U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) aimed at demonstrating the alliance capability to counter the North's threats.

The USFK mobilized the MGM-140 Army Tactical Missile (ATACMS). The range of both the Hyunmoo-2A and the ATACMS is 300 kilometers.


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