On Thursday and Friday, the US and South Korea are set to conduct a joint anti-submarine drill, Yonhap news agency reported.
Over the summer, the two allies carried out massive military exercises in the region, which the North called a threat to its security.
In August, Washington rejected a double-freeze plan proposed by Russia and China, following the North’s earlier missile tests. The plan would see Pyongyang suspend its nuclear and missile tests in exchange for a halt in joint US-South Korean military drills.
The Army’s 718th Explosive Ordnance Disposal Company (EOD) in South Korea should be taught to be able to identify hazardous materials, “know how to perform basic control, containment and/or confinement operations,” as well as to be able implement decontamination procedures, according to the contract proposal which the Army posted on the Federal Business Opportunities website.
It is expected to be a two-week training course, taught on-site at the US Camp Humphreys base in South Korea.
The US has around 25,000 troops deployed in the country, at some 80 sites across the country.
In late August, the Pentagon posted another proposal for contractors to build walls around four US bases in South Korea to protect them from a potential attack.
This comes at a time of heightened tensions between the US and North Korea, following the latter’s recent missile tests, which Pyongyang called “gift packages” to the United States.
Following what North Korea claimed was a hydrogen bomb test on September 3, US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis warned of “a massive military response” to any threat from North Korea against the United States or its allies.
This week, the US began the deployment of four new Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) rocket launchers in Seongju County, some 300km south of Seoul, in addition to two already in operation there, the South Korean Defense Ministry said, citing an urgent need to mobilize the launchers amid growing threats from North Korea.
Dozens of protesters injured in clashes with police on Wednesday as hundreds took to the streets to oppose the installation of the THAAD system, fearing the deployment will further escalate the crisis on the peninsula and make their town a primary target for the North’s potential attacks.
A crew of thirty set up a Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) missile interceptor system capable of intercepting short- and medium-range missiles at Misawa Air Base, Aomori Prefecture, on Thursday. The aims of the exercise were to boost US-Japanese co-operation, and to ready the military for any potential attack by North Korea.
Citing “successful missile launch in North Korea,” sub-base commander Yoshichika Kawahiro told RT’s Ruptly video agency that the purpose of the drills was to improve the operation of interceptor missiles and tactics of the Air Self-Defense Force, as well as cooperation with the US Armed Forces.
“An additional reason why we are announcing the training of PAC-3 is to be able to help with the sense of unease among Japanese citizens.”
According to Kawahiro, the PAC-3 set-up took about 20 minutes to complete.
This is just the second time that Japan has carried out missile interception drills. The first were held at the end of August at the Iwakuni airbase in Yamaguchi and the Yokota Air Base in western Tokyo, only hours before a North Korean missile passed over the northern island of Hokkaido.
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