American military forces partaking in a recent joint drill with their South Korean counterparts have simulated capturing North Korea’s nuclear weapons in the event of war, according to news reports.
The operation, part of the Warrior Strike IX war games earlier this month, saw a US military unit known as "The Black Jack Brigade" exercise “infiltrating" and "removing weapons of mass destruction," Fox News reported Wednesday, citing foreign military sources.
Images from the operation show a group of heavily-equipped soldiers train with night-vision gear and full-face protection near armored vehicles.
The training exercise comes amid escalating tensions between North Korea and the US over Pyongyang’s development of ballistic missiles and nuclear warheads.
While North Korean leaders have denounced the joint military activity, which sometimes also involves Japan, as rehearsals for an invasion, the US and the South insist that they are defensive in nature.
Tensions over the war games peaked earlier this month, when the US and its allies launched large-scale joint aerial drills in the Pacific, which involved more than 230 aircraft, including six F-22 Raptor stealth fighters.
The war games were said to be a response to the North's test-firing of what US military experts said was an all-new Hwasong-15 missile capable of hitting targets across the US mainland.
North Korean officials have time and again accused their American counterparts of seeking regime change in their country as well.
Apparently, Washington is pursuing a so-called political “decapitation” plan designed to initiate a transition of power through North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s removal, the report added.
Last year, North Korea’s UN envoy condemned the “beheading operation” in a sternly-worded, 2016 letter to the Security Council, saying the constant military drills
US President Donald Trump had previously stated that his country would use “fire and fury” to “totally destroy North Korea,” referring to Kim as a “madman” and “little rocket man.”
Threatening to destroy the US Pacific territory of Guam, the Korean leader hit back by calling Trump a “dotard.”