At a time of heightened tensions on the Korean peninsula, North Korea held an exercise testing its long-range missile capability, while South Korea and the United States launched the 11-day Ulchi Freedom Exercise.
The Ulchi Freedom Shield Exercise, jointly organized by the United States and South Korea, which includes computer simulations and field and civil defense training, began today.
According to the information obtained from the South Korean General Staff, within the scope of the exercise, which will last for 11 days, it was learned that 30 different field trainings will be conducted within the framework of a total war scenario.
In addition to South Korean and US military personnel, military personnel from Australia, Canada, France, the United Kingdom (UK), Greece, Italy, New Zealand, the Philippines, and Thailand under the United Nations (UN) Command will also participate in the exercise.
"The greater North Korea's provocations and threats become, the stronger the trilateral security cooperation between South Korea, the United States, and Japan will become," South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol said at a cabinet meeting, referring to the trilateral US-Japan-South Korea leaders summit held in the US last weekend.
"This trilateral cooperation will reduce the risk of provocations by North Korea and further enhance our security," he said.
North Korean Leader Kim Jong-Un inspected the 2nd Surface Ship Squadron of the Korean People's Army (KPA). Kim boarded patrol ship No. 661 and watched the strategic cruise missile launching exercise and expressed his support for "the construction of powerful warships and the development of shipboard and underwater weapon systems" and "the modernization of naval weapon systems".
Kim said that all units of the Navy should steadily improve their "actual combat capability". North Korea's latest step was interpreted asyere retaliation for the joint Ulchi Freedom Shield Exercise launched by the US and South Korea in the region.