(Bloomberg) -- The US and South Korea started three days of naval exercises to counter submarines and missiles after Kim Jong Un’s regime this month deployed what it said was a “tactical nuclear attack” sub.
Nine vessels from the two countries took part in the drills off the east coast of the Korean Peninsula that began Monday with anti-submarine warfare and live-fire training, South Korea’s Navy said in a statement.
“This exercise is an opportunity for the South Korean and US navies to effectively deter and respond to North Korea’s escalating nuclear and missile threats and further solidify our joint defense posture,” the South Korean Navy said. The vessels taking part also including destroyers equipped with the Aegis missile interceptor system.
North Korea has bristled at joint drills for decades, calling them a prelude to an invasion and nuclear war. In recent years, it has stepped up it provocations to coincide with the exercises, often test-firing ballistic missiles in protest.
Read: North Korea Displays New ‘Tactical Nuclear Attack’ Submarine
Kim was on hand at a ceremony this month to launch North Korea’s new submarine that appears designed to fire missiles, as he pushes forward with plans to increase his navy’s ability to use nuclear weapons. South Korea’s military expressed doubts about the capabilities of the vessel.
--With assistance from Shinhye Kang.
©2023 Bloomberg L.P.
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