South Korea & U.S. Begin Largest Military Drills In Years Despite North Korean Opposition

SEOUL – South Korea and the United States resumed field training on Monday, the start of their largest joint military drills in years, officials said, as the allies seek to tighten readiness in response to North Korea’s potential weapons tests.

The annual summertime exercises, renamed Ulchi Freedom Shield this year and set to conclude on September 1, came after South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol, who took office in May, vowed to “normalise” the combined exercises and increase deterrence against the North.

For the first time since the coronavirus pandemic, South Korea launched the four-day Ulchi civil defence drills on Monday, with the goal of increasing government readiness.

The military and civil exercises are aimed at improving the country’s preparedness to match the changing patterns of war, with evolving cyber threats against key facilities such as chip factories and supply chains, Yoon said.

“Maintaining peace on the Korean peninsula is built on our airtight security posture,” Yoon told a cabinet meeting, calling for thorough exercises based on real-world scenarios.

The drills were the largest since 2017 after being scaled back because of COVID-19 and as Yoon’s predecessor sought to restart talks with Pyongyang, which has called the exercises a rehearsal for invasion.

North Korea has conducted missile tests at an unprecedented pace this year and is ready to conduct its seventh nuclear test at any time, Seoul officials said.

Yoon has said his government is willing to provide economic aid if Pyongyang takes steps toward denuclearisation, but North Korea has rebuffed his offer, openly criticising him.

Seoul’s defence ministry has said the allies would stage 11 field training programmes, including one at brigade-level – involving thousands of soldiers – this summer.

To better counter North Korea’s growing missile threats targeting the South’s capital, the ministry said it would improve missile detection capabilities and push for an early deployment of a new interceptor system.

The United States, South Korea and Japan participated in a recent ballistic missile defence exercise off Hawaii’s coast, the first such drills since 2017, when relations between Seoul and Tokyo hit their lowest point in years. – Reuters

Facebook Comments

Subscribe

Related articles

Trust Me: UK Prime Minister Liz Truss Seeks Party Support For Economic Plans

Addressing Conservative lawmakers and members at an annual conference marred by internal squabbles and policy ambiguity, Truss sought to reassure her party, the public, and investors that her plan was the best way to restart growth.

Financial Losses Expected For Elon Musk’s Takeover Of Twitter

While Musk will contribute much of the RM203.74 billion by selling his stake in Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) and relying on equity financing from large investors, major banks have committed to contribute RM57.88 billion.

1MDB On Political Donation: Court Is Not Right, Proper Forum

The court, as evident from 1MDB charges, has degenerated into alleged "abuse of power", based on bits and pieces, on prerogative and discretionary powers of government and management!

Malaysian Films And The Quest For Quality

The box-office success of Mat Kilau is great, but is Malaysia all about producing racing and silat films? Veteran filmmaker and film history buff Anwardi Jamil weighs in his views on what it takes to bring our films to the global arena, without having to ruffle the Hollywood popcorn-fare feathers.

Brazil Girds For Tight Runoff Vote After Lula’s Victory In Election

Lula, a two-term former president who was imprisoned on false corruption convictions that were later overturned, received the most votes in Sunday's presidential election and remains the favourite to win the race later this month, according to many analysts.
spot_imgspot_img
%d bloggers like this: