US holds first THAAD remote launcher deployment in South Korea
The USFK says the THAAD forces' training demonstrates the "ironclad commitment to support and defend" South Korea.
The United States Forces Korea (USFK) on Friday confirmed that it had conducted the first deployment training of a remote launcher of its Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defense system in South Korea.
"The deployment training of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense remote launcher was the first to be conducted in conjunction with the Freedom Shield 23 exercise," the USFK indicated in a press release.
The USFK said the THAAD forces' training enhanced the units' combat readiness, claiming that it demonstrates the "ironclad commitment to support and defend" South Korea and further "strengthens the security and stability on the Korean Peninsula."
The press release explained that the remote launcher's deployment took place as part of the US military upgrade program to integrate its THAAD and Patriot missile defense systems into a single program aimed at enhancing security operations.
"Normalization of the THAAD operations and capabilities provides USFK greater readiness to ensure continued resourcing of the unit, as well as providing greater opportunity to modify the defense design by exercising remote launch options," it added.
The launch took place during the computer simulation-based Freedom Shield drills, which ran through March 23 under scenarios reflecting the alleged nuclear and missile threats imposed by the DPRK (North Korea).
DPRK tests nuclear-capable underwater drone: State media
Earlier, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported that the DPRK tested an underwater drone that can carry nuclear weapons and launched a test warhead without nuclear charge from it in the Sea of Japan.
KCNA highlighted that the weapon can unleash a "radioactive tsunami", pointing out that "the drone is designed to attack enemy vessels and ports by setting off a super-scale radioactive wave."
According to the DPRK's official news agency, leader Kim Jong Un personally oversaw the test.
Tensions on the Korean peninsula have been escalating, as the US and South Korea completed what was described as the largest joint field exercises in five years on Wednesday.
Earlier this month, Pyongyang said the "irresponsible acts" of Washington and Seoul will take the region "to a very critical and uncontrollable phase."