The U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) conducted the first training on the deployment of a remote launcher of its Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defense system in South Korea on Friday.
The U.S. military made public a set of photos of the training, hours after North Korea said it carried out drills involving an underwater nuclear attack drone.
"The training of our THAAD forces enhanced the units' combat readiness, combined defense posture within the alliance, demonstrates the ironclad commitment to support and defend the Republic of Korea (ROK) and further strengthens the security and stability on the Korean Peninsula," the USFK said in a press release.
The drills took place in conjunction with the regular South Korea-U.S. Freedom Shield (FS) exercise that concluded its 11-day run on March 23.
The training came as the Seoul government has been pushing for the "normalization" of the THAAD battery in Seongju, 217km southeast of Seoul, which has held the status of a "temporary" installation pending an environmental assessment.
"Normalization of THAAD operations and capabilities provides USFK readiness to ensure continued resourcing of the unit, as well as providing greater opportunity to modify the defense design by exercising remote launch options," the USFK said.
The U.S. military has pushed for an upgrade program designed to streamline and integrate its THAAD and Patriot missile defense systems into a single program for enhanced and more flexible security operations.