The United States and South Korea fired their own missiles July 5 in a warning after the North launched an intercontinental ballistic missile.
The live-fire exercise came as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson confirmed that the communist state fired an ICBM on Tuesday, saying it “represents a new escalation of the threat to the United States, our allies and partners, the region, and the world.”
U.S. Pacific Command’s initial assessment was that the North had fired an intermediate-range missile.
The allied militaries fired missiles into South Korean territorial waters off the east coast, an 8th Army statement said.
Here's the video of US-South Korea show of force responding to the North's latest ballistic missile test pic.twitter.com/T7p0vAhfbD
In an unusual move, the statement directly linked the exercise with North Korea’s missile test the day before, saying it was “countering North Korea’s destabilizing and unlawful actions on July 4.”
The U.S. military usually refrains from mentioning specific events and insists joint military exercises are defensive in nature.
The 8th Army said it fired the missiles using an Army Tactical Missile System and South Korea’s Hyunmoo Missile II.
“The system can be rapidly deployed and engaged,” it said. “The deep strike precision capability enables the (South Korean)-U.S. Alliance to engage the full array of time critical targets under all weather conditions.”
North Korea said Tuesday that the Hwasong-14 missile was fired while leader Kim Jong Un watched. It flew for 39 minutes and reached an altitude of more than 1,740 miles before crashing into the sea near Japan. It traveled about 580 miles, according to state-run media.
It was the first missile test in nearly a month and came days after the U.S. and South Korean presidents met in Washington for their first summit.
Tillerson said the U.S. plans to call on the U.N. Security Council to enact stronger measures against the North.
“Global action is required to stop a global threat,” he said in a statement.
He also warned that any country that hosts North Korean workers, provides economic or military benefits to the North or fails to implement U.N. sanctions “is aiding and abetting a dangerous regime.”
Tillerson stressed the U.S. is only seeking the peaceful denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and “will never accept a nuclear-armed North Korea.”
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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A 40-foot-tall (12 meters) cross-shaped war memorial standing on public land in Maryland does not constitute government endorsement of religion, the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday in a decision that leaves unanswered questions about the boundaries of the U.S. Constitution's separation of church and state.
The justices were divided on many of the legal issues but the vote was 7-2 to overturn a lower court ruling that had declared the so-called Peace Cross in Bladensburg unconstitutional in a legal challenge mounted by the American Humanist Association, a group that advocates for secular governance. The concrete cross was erected in 1925 as a memorial to troops killed in World War One.
The ruling made it clear that a long-standing monument in the shape of a Christian cross on public land was permissible but the justices were divided over whether other types of religious displays and symbols on government property would be allowed. Those issues are likely to come before the court in future cases.