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US, South Korea hold live firing drills in wake of Pyongyang’s latest missile launch

July 05, 2017, 3:08 UTC+3 WASHINGTON

Washington reiterated that its commitment "to the defense of the Republic of Korea in the face of threats is ironclad"

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© REUTERS/Gene Blevins

WASHINGTON, July 5. /TASS/. The armed forces of the US and South Korea held joint live firing drills in response to North Korea’s latest missile launch, the US Pacific Command said on Tuesday.

The drills, intended to respond to "North Korea’s destabilizing and unlawful actions," involved launches from US ATACMS (Army Tactical Missile System) and South Korea’s Hyunmoo Missile II at targets in South Korea’s territorial waters.

According to the US military command, those missile systems can be deployed rapidly and provide deep strike precision capability.

The US Department of Defense said the combined exercise together with South Korea was intended "to show our precision fire capability."

"The launch continues to demonstrate that North Korea poses a threat to the United States and our allies," chief Pentagon spokesperson Dana W. White said in a statement. "We remain prepared to defend ourselves and our allies and to use the full range of capabilities at our disposal against the growing threat from North Korea."

"The United States seeks only the peaceful denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. Our commitment to the defense of our allies, the Republic of Korea and Japan, in the face of these threats, remains ironclad," the Pentagon spokesperson added.

North Korea’s television earlier announced the first successful launch of the Hwasong-14 intercontinental ballistic missile. The missile reached an altitude of 2,802 kilometers and flew 933 kilometers within 29 minutes, the North Korean television added.

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