The drills ensure US air crews "are qualified on their Apaches, maintain their proficiency on their helicopters, and are capable of executing their mission if called upon," a spokesperson said in a statement sent to AFP.

According to local reports, the US military stopped using the Rodriguez Live Fire Complex in Pocheon in 2018 due to complaints from local residents about noise and safety.

The ongoing drills are understood to be for "noise measurement", an official from Seoul's defence ministry said, apparently referring to locals' concerns over the disruption.

But the two countries, long-time regional security allies, said in May that they were looking to ramp up joint military exercises, which had been scaled back due to Covid-19, and during a bout of failed diplomacy with the North.

South Korea's hawkish new president Yoon Suk-yeol -- who took office in May -- has vowed a tougher stance against Pyongyang, vowing to "normalise" US-South Korea joint military drills.

According to local reports, the US military stopped using the Rodriguez Live Fire Complex in Pocheon in 2018 due to complaints from local residents about noise and safety.

The ongoing drills are understood to be for "noise measurement", an official from Seoul's defence ministry said, apparently referring to locals' concerns over the disruption.

But the two countries, long-time regional security allies, said in May that they were looking to ramp up joint military exercises, which had been scaled back due to Covid-19, and during a bout of failed diplomacy with the North.

South Korea's hawkish new President Yoon Suk-yeol -- who took office in May -- has vowed a tougher stance against Pyongyang, vowing to "normalise" US-South Korea joint military drills.

A total of six US top-of-the-line F-35A fighters also arrived in the South earlier this month for a 10-day allied exercise that took place until 14 July.

It was the first public deployment of American stealth warplanes in the country since late 2017.