US-South Korea drills deter North Korea, Pentagon claims hours after North Korea launched ICBMs


The Defense Ministry on Thursday claimed its frequent joint military exercises with South Korea would continue to deter North Korean attacks.

“I think it’s important for people to understand that deterrence continues to work,” Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder told reporters at a daily Defense Department news briefing.

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Pentagon spokesman Air Force Brig. Gen. Gen. Patrick Ryder answers questions during a briefing at the Pentagon March 16, 2023 in Arlington, Virginia. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

The remarks came just hours after North Korea launched its latest ICBM – its second of the year.

The South Korean military said the missile was fired at the East Sea. The launch came hours before South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol and Kishida were due to meet in Tokyo to discuss various issues.

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In this photo distributed by the North Korean government, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, center, walks around a Hwasong-17 ICBM on the launch vehicle at an undisclosed location in North Korea.

In this photo distributed by the North Korean government, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, center, walks around a Hwasong-17 ICBM on the launch vehicle at an undisclosed location in North Korea. (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP, File)

“Although North Korea is firing missiles into the ocean, North Korea is not and should not be attacking, and that the United States, Japan, South Korea and other allies and partners in the region will continue to work together to expand this deterrence and keep our countries safe.” ‘ Ryder said.

Thursday’s ICMB launch also came amid the ongoing South Korea-US Freedom Shield (FS) exercise, which the North has described as “preparing for a war of aggression” against South Korea Yonhap News Agency reported.

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This photo circulated by the North Korean government allegedly shows test firing from a Hwasong-17 ICBM at an undisclosed location in North Korea.

This photo circulated by the North Korean government allegedly shows test firing from a Hwasong-17 ICBM at an undisclosed location in North Korea. (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP, File)

“And as for North Korea’s response to these types of drills, as you heard me say before, it’s not only inappropriate, it’s destabilizing and clearly of concern to the people of the region,” Ryder concluded.

The White House strongly condemned the launch.

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In this photo provided by the North Korean government, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un inspects an artillery drill with his daughter at an undisclosed location in North Korea.

In this photo provided by the North Korean government, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un inspects an artillery drill with his daughter at an undisclosed location in North Korea. (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP)

‚ÄúThis launch is in flagrant violation of several UN Security Council resolutions. Although US INDOPACOM has assessed that it poses no immediate threat to US personnel, US territory, or our allies, this launch unnecessarily increases tensions and risks destabilizing the security situation in the region,” National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson wrote. in a statement.



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