As North Korea continues to escalate its nuclear aggressiveness, the U.S. and South Korean forces have started their largest combined training operation in years.
In South Korea, the Ulchi Freedom Shield drills began on Monday and will last until September 1. Aircraft, warships, tanks, and perhaps tens of thousands of soldiers are all used in the drills.
REPORTS: NORTH KOREA LAUNCHES TWO CRUISE MISSILES
While North Korean leaders asserted that these drills were actually practice for an invasion, Washington and Seoul regarded the exercises as defensive. The exercises have been exploited by North Korea as justification for their ongoing development of nuclear weapons and military capabilities.
During the 21st Korea-U.S. Integrated Defense Dialogue last week, the leaders “addressed the DPRK threat, notably the increased volume and scale of DPRK missile testing over the course of the last year,” according to a joint statement. With this in mind, and in light of the DPRK’s increasing threat, both leaders agreed to broaden the scope and scale of joint military exercises and training on and around the Korean Peninsula, beginning with Ulchi Freedom Shield the next week. This will increase joint readiness.
“The two sides confirmed that the ROK and the U.S. will engage in a strong and firm bilateral reaction, including options to deploy U.S. strategic assets to the region,” they continued. Should the DPRK execute a nuclear test.
In an effort to engage in diplomatic negotiations with North Korea, the Trump administration called off the drills in 2018, while the coronavirus outbreak delayed the program’s earlier restart.
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The Punggye-ri nuclear test site has been shuttered since 2018, and military officials in South Korea, the US, and Japan have expressed fear that North Korea is preparing for its first nuclear test since 2017. At least 18 missiles have been fired by the North Korean government just in 2022.
Kim Jong Un’s younger sister stated last week that Yoon Suk-yeol, the president of South Korea, should “stop his mouth” and refrain from proposing economic aid in exchange for nuclear disarmament.
Examiner in Washington Defense, South Korea, News, North Korea, Nuclear Weapons, Tags for Videos
Author at first: Mike Brest
Original Place: US and South Korea start joint military exercises as the danger from North Korea increases.
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