South Korea and the United States Will Hold Annual Joint Military Drills
The United States and South Korea announced that a new round of joint military operations would be conducted later this month, officials have announced on Tuesday, an annual exercise called this year Key Resolve and Foal Eagle.
The officials said that the exercise would begin on February 28 and will be conducted until April, and that the North Korean authorities have been notified about it.
According to United States General Walter Sharp, who is leading the combined forces in the Korean Peninsula, 12,800 U.S. soldiers and 200,000 South Korean ones will participate in the exercise to respond to realistic scenarios that are meant to face an attack that goes beyond conventional means.
One of the exercises is, according to the South Korean media, the simulation of a situation when North Korea becomes instable as a result of the death of President Kim Jong-il and his son Kim Jong-eun does not succeed in taking control over the country.
The Key Resolve will hast until March 10, and will consist mostly in computer simulations, while Foal Eagle involves naval, air and ground drills that will go on until April 30.
The drill this year comes after a number of other drills last year meant to be a response to North Korean shelling of a South Korean island, and to the sinking of a military vessel called Cheonan.
In the past, the North has regularly condemned this kind of exercises as an aggression to its own sovereignty and a means to prepare an invasion in North Korea.
This time, North toned down because it is interested in talks with the South.
Last week, the two Korean armies started a talk that broke down after one day, because of the fact that the North refused to apologize for the sinking of Cheonan.11