Annual Military Exercises Commence: South Korea and US Focus on North Korea

South Korea and the United States have initiated their annual Freedom Shield joint military exercises on Monday aimed at bolstering readiness against North Korea.

The 11-day drills, as outlined by United States Forces Korea (USFK) and South Korea’s Defense Ministry, will incorporate a combination of live exercises and constructive simulations.

According to Seoul’s Joint Chiefs of Staff spokesperson Lee Sung-jun, the exercises are primarily geared towards deterring North Korea’s nuclear threats.

In addition to Freedom Shield, both nations are engaged in various smaller-scale field training exercises aimed at strengthening their defense posture and collaboration across air, land, sea, space, cyber, and special operations, as stated by the USFK.

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North Korea Silent on US-South Korea Drills

Annual-Military-Exercises-Commence-South-Korea-and-US-Focus-on-North-Korea
South Korea and the United States have initiated their annual Freedom Shield joint military exercises on Monday aimed at bolstering readiness against North Korea.

While North Korea has previously criticized joint military exercises between the US and South Korea, it has not issued any official response to the ongoing drills.

Last week, South Korea’s military announced plans to conduct 48 field exercises with U.S. forces this spring, doubling the number from the previous year.

These exercises will encompass live-firing, bombing, air assault, and missile interception drills.

Since early 2022, North Korea has carried out over 100 missile tests as part of efforts to modernize its arsenal, amidst stalled talks with the United States and South Korea.

In response, the United States and South Korea have escalated their training exercises and increased the deployment of potent US military assets, including aircraft carriers and long-range nuclear-capable bombers.

Kim Jong Un’s Aggressive Shift in North Korea’s Approach

This year, North Korea conducted six rounds of missile tests and a series of artillery firing drills.

Its leader, Kim Jong Un, announced a shift in North Korea’s approach, abandoning the longstanding pursuit of peaceful unification with South Korea in favor of a more aggressive military stance along the disputed sea boundary.

He also threatened to “annihilate” South Korea and the United States if provoked, reiterating previous threats.

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