The United States Forces Korea (U.S.F.K.) conducted a surgical strike drill similar to India’s Balakot airstrike in 2019, targeting North Korean facilities.
In a recent Facebook post, the U.S. Special Operations Command Korea said it held Exercise Teak Knife at Camp Humphreys in Pyeongtaek, 70km south of Seoul, on September 13. The drills provided opportunities for U.S. special tactics airmen to practice skillsets used in special operations across the Indo-Pacific, the military added.
The exercise involves simulated attacks on key facilities in North Korea, such as its missile and nuclear installations, officials told Yonhap News Agency. It comes amid the North’s testing of new missiles including the one that can be launched from a moving train.
The U.S. military has carried out the exercise regularly since the 1990s, often together with South Korean troops, but it is unusual for it to make the matter public. The last time it announced the details of the exercise was in 2017.
The 2019 Balakot airstrike was conducted by India in the early morning hours of 26 February. India claims its warplanes crossed the de facto border in the disputed region of Kashmir and dropped bombs in the vicinity of the town of Balakot in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in Pakistan, targeting alleged terrorist training camp. Pakistan described the Indian planes as dropping their payload in an uninhabited wooded hilltop area near Balakot.