South Korean troops and the United States special forces reportedly conducted drills simulating the infiltration of an enemy facility as tensions with North Korea rise ahead of a year-end deadline. According to international media reports, South Korean and US commandos raided the facility and led out a man with his hands tied behind the back during the exercise described as a joint regular close-quarters battle training in the month of November at a US military base in the southwestern South Korean city of Gunsan.
The drill was reportedly designed as a hostage rescue operation training as part of a counter-terrorism drill conducted quarterly by the allies. The service is operated by the US Department of Defense. According to reports, the drills were intended to simulate a scenario to capture North Korean executives. The drill comes ahead of a year-end deadline set by Pyongyang for Washington to soften its stance in stalled talks. Earlier this week North Korean leader Kim Jong Un held a meeting with top military officials to discuss strengthening the country's military capabilities. Reportedly, Kim also discussed the way to bolster up the country's overall armed forces bot politically and militarily.
According to reports, Kim's meeting was held to discuss the growing concern that North Korea may be about to return to confrontation with the United States. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump have met three times since their first meeting in June 2018 but failed to reach any substantive progress in dialogue after Pyongyang demanded international sanctions be lifted first. The United States is a major ally of Japan and South Korea in the region and wants North Korea to denuclearise the Korean peninsula. The United States also fought a war against North Korea in the 1950s. Donald Trump became the first US president to meet a Noth Korean leader last year but the meeting didn't turn out to be a success as the denuclearisation process has not yet started. North Korea has demanded the lifting of international sanctions first which the United States is not willing to accept.
(With inputs from agencies)