South Korea, U.S. conduct drills after North Korea missile launch

July 29 (UPI) — SEOUL, South Korea, July 29 — South Korea and the United States conducted another round of combined ballistic missile drills Saturday in a show of firepower against North Korea, their armed forces said.

The live-fire exercise held along the east coast involved the South’s Hyunmoo-2 and the U.S. Eight Army’s Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS).

Two missiles were fired from the Hyunmoo-2 launcher, along with two others from the ATACMS.

“The munitions impacted in the sea east of the Korean Peninsula,” where the North lobbed what it claims to be an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) hours earlier, according to the Eighth Army.

The Hyunmoo-2 is a road-mobile tactical ballistic missile with a range of 300 kilometers. The ATACMS is a similar-range guided missile.

The allies reaffirmed their capabilities for “precise strikes on the enemy’s leadership,” the South’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement.

The Eighth Army also said the two sides demonstrated their ability to work together to defend South Korea.

“The ROK-U.S. Alliance remains ironclad, and our combined efforts showcase the capabilities of this alliance,” said Lt. Gen. Thomas Vandal, who commands the unit, a core element of the 28,500-strong U.S. Forces Korea. “I assure you we are ready to fight tonight, will deter North Korean provocations and if necessary defend the Republic of Korea.”

The Eighth Army stressed that the ATACMS can be rapidly deployed and provide “deep-strike precision capability.”

It enables the allied forces to engage a full array of time-critical targets under all weather conditions, it added.

The allies held such joint ballistic missile drills early this month following the communist nation’s firing of the Hwasong-14 ICBM.

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