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Korea, US hold missile drills as NK claims key ICBM technology

South Korea and the United States staged a massive combined ballistic missile exercise Wednesday, sending a warning message to North Korea, the allies' militaries said, a day after the communist country claimed a successful long-range missile test.

They fired a barrage of missiles, including the South's Hyunmoo-2A and the US Eighth Army's ATACMS, into the East Sea, according to the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The Hyunmoo-2A is a ballistic missile with a range of 300 kilometers, and the ATACMS, or the Army Tactical Missile System, is a surface-to-surface missile.

The live-fire training was held on the orders of President Moon Jae-in who cited the need for demonstrating the allies' missile defense posture with action, not just a statement, said Moon's office Cheong Wa Dae.





South Korea and the United States staged a massive combined ballistic missile exercise Wednesday, sending a warning message to North Korea, the allies' militaries said, a day after the communist country claimed a successful long-range missile test.

They fired a barrage of missiles, including the South's Hyunmoo-2A and the US Eighth Army's ATACMS, into the East Sea, according to the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The Hyunmoo-2A is a ballistic missile with a range of 300 kilometers, and the ATACMS, or the Army Tactical Missile System, is a surface-to-surface missile.

The live-fire training was held on the orders of President Moon Jae-in who cited the need for demonstrating the allies' missile defense posture with action, not just a statement, said Moon's office Cheong Wa Dae.

Moon delivered the proposal to US President Donald Trump through their national security advisers, it added.

The US troops said they mobilized the assets to counter "North Korea's destabilizing and unlawful actions" a day earlier, referencing its firing of an intercontinental ballistic missile.

"The deep strike precision capability enables the ROK (South Korea)-US Alliance to engage the full array of time critical targets under all weather conditions," the Eighth Army said.

Meanwhile, the North's state media gave a detailed account of the reclusive nation's latest missile test.

The Korean Central News Agency said the North has mastered the atmospheric re-entry technology and other skills for an ICBM via the test inspected by leader Kim Jong-un.

"The test-launch was aimed at confirming the tactical and technological specifications and technological features of the newly developed inter-continental ballistic rocket capable of carrying a large-sized heavy nuclear warhead," the KCNA said in an English-language report.

The test was also to "finally verify all technical features of the payload of the rocket during its atmospheric re-entry, including the heat-resisting features and structural safety of the warhead tip of ICBM made of newly developed domestic carbon compound material, in particular," it added.

The inner temperature of the warhead tip stayed within the range of 25-45 degrees Celsius at the time of the re-entry, with all other core devices normally operating before the missile struck a mock target accurately, it argued.

"All technological characteristics" necessary to fire an ICBM from a mobile launcher were verified as well, it said.

Kim Jong-un described the Hwasong-14 ICBM as an Independence Day "gift" for Americans. (Yonhap)
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