US and South Korea Launch Largest Military Exercises in Years

US and South Korea Launch Largest Military Exercises in Years

The United States and South Korea have embarked on their largest joint military exercises in about five years. South Korean authorities expect a strong reaction from neighboring North Korea. That isolated dictatorship views such military drills as an invasion exercise.

The US is the main military ally of democratic South Korea and has more than 28,000 troops stationed in the East Asian country. The exercises that started on Monday are called Ulchi Freedom Shield and will last until September 1. South Korea confirmed that the exercises have started without going into detail about the number of military personnel.

The Korean and American armed forces regularly train together, although those exercises have been smaller in recent years than before. The reasons for this are the corona pandemic and the attempts to negotiate with North Korea. However, that country continues to cause international unrest by conducting missile tests.

The new South Korean president Yoon Suk-yeol opts for a harder line than his predecessor and has large exercises again. South Korean media reports that during Ulchi Freedom Shield, among other things, exercises are carried out on defending the capital Seoul and the surrounding area.

Analysts are aware that North Korea is using military exercises as an excuse to conduct more weapons tests. In addition to missile tests, the country has also conducted nuclear tests. Former US President Donald Trump has tried to convince the North Korean regime to give up its nuclear program, but diplomatic talks have not led to a breakthrough.

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