South Korea and the US launch the largest maneuvers in years
Northern neighbors are less than happy
The United States and South Korea began their largest joint military exercises in about five years on Monday. In addition, South Korea is increasing a fierce reaction of neighboring North Korea to the sale. North Korea considers the exercise a threat.
The United States is the main military ally of democratic South Korea. The US has more than 28,000 troops stationed in the East Asian country. South Korea does not say how many soldiers are participating in the exercises.
The exercises are called Ulchi Freedom Shield and will last until September 1. Experts believe North Korea is using the military exercises as a reason to conduct more missile and nuclear tests.
The Korean and American forces regularly train together. In recent years, these exercises have been smaller than before. The countries hoped for a breakthrough in negotiations with North Korea. They tried to convince the North Korean regime to stop developing and testing nuclear weapons.
Then-president Donald Trump tried to negotiate on behalf of the US with North Korea. But the diplomatic talks did not succeed. North Korea continued to conduct missile tests. Another reason for the small-scale exercises is the corona pandemic.
The New South Korean president Yoon Suk-yeol takes a harder line than his predecessor. He thinks it’s a good idea to hold big exercises again. South Korean media write that the countries are practicing, among other things, defending the South Korean capital Seoul and the area around it.