North Korea conducted a big live-fire exercise on Tuesday on its east coast as the nation marked the 85th anniversary of the founding of its military.
A large number of long-range artillery units were deployed in the exercise that was aimed at showing off the nation’s military might, according to Reuters.
The live-fire drill came as a US submarine docked in South Korea in a show of force by Washington amid growing concern over the North’s nuclear and missile programs.
The port call by the USS Michigan took place as a US aircraft carrier strike group steamed toward Korean waters in an effort to deter North Korea from a sixth nuclear test or more missile launches.
The Office of Joint Chiefs of Staff in Seoul said it is monitoring the situation in North Korea and “firmly maintaining readiness”.
South Korea’s navy said it was conducting its own live-fire exercise with US destroyers in waters west of the Korean peninsula and would soon join the approaching US carrier group.
North Korea was defiant, saying its military was prepared “to bring to closure the history of US scheming and nuclear blackmail”.
US President Donald Trump sent the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier strike group for exercises off the Korean peninsula as a warning to Pyongyang, but US officials say sanctions, not military strikes, are the preferred option.
On Monday, Trump called North Korea a global threat and “a problem that we have to finally solve” and said the UN Security Council must be prepared to impose new sanctions.
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