SEOUL: In an effort to better counter the growing nuclear and missile threat posed by North Korea, US Forces Korea launched a new space forces unit this week.

The second overseas component of the US Space Forces, the unit, known as "US Space Forces Korea," will be led by Lt. Col. Joshua McCullion and will be tasked with monitoring, detecting and tracking incoming missiles, as well as improving the military's overall space capacities.

During a ceremony at the Osan Airbase in the city of Pyeongtaek, US Forces Korea commander General Paul LaCamera said the space unit would expand the ability of the armed forces to ensure peace and security on the Korean peninsula and throughout Northeast Asia.

"The US military is faster, better connected, more informed, precise and legal because of space," he said.

In order to deter Pyongyang, which tested intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of reaching the US mainland this year, Seoul and Washington seek to boost security cooperation.

This month, South Korea's air force also established its own space unit, in cooperation with the US Space Force.

Last month, the US Indo-Pacific Command and Central Command set up their space units in Hawaii and Florida.