Photo: Diplomat

TAASAN NEWS: A day after North Korea fired a Hwasong-15 Short-Range ballistic missile, the United States held separate joint drills with South Korea and Japan featuring strategic bombers.

The Chief of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the South Korean Army said: "In this exercise, the Korean F-35A and F-15K fighters and the F-16 fighters of the United States escorted the B-1B."

He emphasized that this issue demonstrated the allies' defense capability and readiness.
The South Korean military said in a statement that the exercise strengthened its combined operations capability and underscored the ironclad commitment of the United States to defend the Korean Peninsula and implement extended deterrence.

The Ministry of Defense of Japan also announced in a statement that the country participated in a tactical exercise with B-1 and F-16 bombers of the United States armed forces over the Sea of Japan. The agency stressed that the security environment has become "increasingly severe" after North Korea fired its latest missile.

The missile landed in Japan's exclusive economic zone.

The drills came as North Korea announced on the same day that it had tested its latest ICBM to further boost its "lethal" nuclear strike capability against its rivals. The country has threatened to take more forceful measures in response to military exercises between the United States and South Korea.
North Korea's official news agency announced that the launch of the Hwasong-15 missile was organized suddenly and without prior notice by direct orders from Kim.

According to the media, the Hwasong-15 missile flew for one hour, six minutes, and 55 seconds at an altitude of 5,768 kilometers before crashing into a predetermined area in open waters.

North Korea first tested the Hwasong-15 missile in 2017.

In a statement, Kim Yo Jong, the influential sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, accused South Korea and the United States of publicly trying to gain a military upper hand and a dominant position on the Korean Peninsula.

She added: "We are monitoring every move of the enemy, and we will take a proportionate, very strong, and decisive countermeasure against every hostile move of the enemy."


Author:  Hameedullah Ghafoori