South Korea and U.S. Conduct Large-Scale Military Drills Targeting North Korean Artillery Threats

SEOUL - South Korea and the United States commenced a large-scale combined military exercise this week aimed at enhancing response capabilities against North Korean long-range artillery threats, officials announced on Friday.

According to a new release by Yonhap News Agency, the three-day exercises, which started on Wednesday, involved more than 5,400 South Korean and U.S. troops and approximately 300 artillery pieces. The drills were conducted across South Korea in the context of increased focus on Seoul's preparedness against potential North Korean artillery attacks, following a surprise attack on Israel by Hamas.

North Korea is reported to have about 340 long-range artillery pieces stationed along the border with South Korea, directly targeting the greater Seoul area, which is home to nearly half of South Korea's population of 51 million.

The main focus of the drills was to train troops to accurately target and neutralize enemy artillery and the sources of such provocations. The training also included preparedness measures against surprise artillery attacks similar to the recent Hamas attack on Israel.

In Cheorwon and Yeoncheon, border counties located 85 kilometers northeast of Seoul, live-fire exercises were carried out using K9 and K55A1 self-propelled howitzers on Friday, the command revealed.

Among the assets deployed for the three-day exercise were unmanned aerial vehicles, counter-battery radar, Multiple Launch Rocket Systems, Army Tactical Missile Systems, South Korean F-15K fighter jets, and U.S. A-10 attack aircraft.

The exercise was conducted as a part of South Korea's ongoing annual Hoguk military drills, which began on October 13 and are scheduled to continue until November 22.

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