South Korea and the US started large-scale military drills with about 17,000 American troops and more than 300,000 South Koreans taking parts in the two sets of war games which are to continue until the end of April.
According to the South Korean Defense Ministry, North Korea has fired short-range ballistic missiles into the sea in response to the ongoing war games between the United States and South Korea.
The South Korean Defense Ministry spokesman Moon Sang Gyun said that the ballistic missiles, fired from North Hwanghae province on Thursday, flew about 500 kilometers and fell into the water off the country’s east coast. He also added that the missiles were believed to be Scud-type missiles.
However, On Monday, South Korea and the US started large-scale military drills with about 17,000 American troops and more than 300,000 South Koreans taking parts in the two sets of war games which are to continue until the end of April.
Already Pyongyang has said the exercises are “undisguised nuclear war drills,” which threaten the North’s national sovereignty. North Korea also warned of “indiscriminate” nuclear attacks against the US and South Korea in response to “even the slightest military action.”
Tensions have escalated since the start of 2016 after the North’s nuclear test in January and a long-range rocket launch on February 7. North Korea said that the rocket launch was aimed at placing an earth observation satellite into orbit but Washington and Seoul argued the move was a cover for an intercontinental ballistic missile test.
The US occasionally deploys nuclear-powered warships and aircraft capable of carrying atomic weapons in the region. In response, North Korea has vowed to develop a nuclear arsenal in an effort to protect itself from the US military.
However, the Korean Peninsula has been locked in a cycle of military tensions since the 1950-1953 Korean War, which ended in a truce. Since no peace deal has been signed; technically the two Koreas remain at war.