Tensions continue to escalate in the Korean peninsula as forces from the North and South move to increase preparedness for the outbreak of war.
South Korea’s Korean Broadcasting System has reported that American and South Korean intelligence agents have monitored multiple Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBM) being moved from a rocket facility in communist North Korea. The report did not mention where the rockets were moved to but mentioned this is likely preparation for future provocative actions, according to Reuters.
According to the report, an unnamed intelligence agency spotted activity around North Korea’s Missile Research and Development Facility in Sanum-dong, North of the North Korean capital of Pyongyang.
North Korea’s Missile Research and Development Facility at Sanum-dong is in the Northern part of Pyongyang, and is a hotbed of military and government activity.
The Korean Broadcasting System reports that the missiles could be either Hwasong-12 intermediate-range ballistic missiles (IRBM) or the Hwasong-14 intercontinental missiles. According to experts, the Sanum-dong rocket facility is dedicated to the production of intercontinental missiles.
South Korean officials are preparing for more provocative actions from North Korea as the rogue nation approached the anniversary of the founding of the ruling communist party on October 10th.
Others warn that North Korea will increase aggression by October 19, when neighboring China holds their Communist Party Congress.
Yet, as North Korea continues to advance their rocket program, American and South Korean forces are conducting exercises to prepare for a missile attack. At the same time that North Korea was spotted moving their missiles, soldiers enlisted in the 6th Battalion, 52nd Air Defense Artillery Regiment teamed with Republic of Korea (ROK) forces for their first joint test of the Short Range Air Defense (SHORAD), reports Army.mil.
“The best part of the training was being able to work through real-life scenarios that required coordination between the ROK and U.S. leadership to effectively complete our short-range air defense mission,” explained 2nd Lt. David Lara, the platoon leader of the 52nd Air Defense Artillery Regiment. “We also forged a relationship with our ROK counterparts that could prove greatly beneficial in a wartime scenario.”
The exercise was designed to help American and South Korean soldiers become more comfortable with each other’s communications systems and military standards, with the ultimate goal of creating cohesion and a long-lasting partnership between the two units.
ICBMs are being moved from a rocket facility in communist North Korea. Is there any hope of negotiation?
During the joint exercise, soldiers were required to deploy SHORAD assets at critical defensive locations. The two units practiced targeting incoming aircraft with both primary and secondary targeting systems — in case the primary method becomes ineffective.
Throughout the exercise, American soldiers were tasked with destroying low-altitude cruise missiles, air breathing threats, and unmanned aerial systems, while their South Korean counterparts were simulating oppositional forces. They tested the SHORAD system with scout helicopters and a simulated assault by ROK Special Forces. Leaders are heralding the exercise as a huge success.
“It was incredible to see how quickly the soldiers adapted to each other,” offered Lt. Lara. “By the end of the exercise, we had built a level of cohesiveness that will be a great foundation for future combined operations with our ROK allies.”