By Song Sang-ho
SEOUL, Sept. 30 (Yonhap) -- A U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) unit carried out surgical strike drills involving its special commandos earlier this week at an American military base just south of Seoul, its public affairs office said Friday, following North Korea's missile provocations.
The USFK's Special Operations Command Korea (SOCKOR) revealed on its Facebook account a series of photos showing key activities of the Exercise Teak Knife at an airfield of Camp Humphreys in Pyeongtaek, 70 kilometers south of Seoul, on Wednesday.
Designed to ensure "realistic, multi-domain" readiness, the exercise included drills on an airfield seizure, hostage rescue mission, nighttime infiltrations, close air support, precision fires and direct action raid, according to SOCKOR.
The disclosures came as Pyongyang fired a short-range ballistic missile (SRBM) Sunday, two SRBMs on Wednesday and another two Thursday. The regime's saber-rattling coincided with a South Korea-U.S. naval exercise involving the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier.
A year ago, the U.S. military also made public its Teak Knife exercise amid tensions caused by the North's missile launches.
The exercise was seen by some observers as involving an operation to "behead" the North Korean leadership, but the U.S. military dismissed the view, saying it is a training program designed to "maximize unit and individual readiness."
In recent months, Seoul and Washington have been ramping up the public communication volume when it comes to their combined or standalone drills as part of efforts to sharpen deterrence against evolving North Korean nuclear and missile threats.
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