South Korea and the US will go ahead with the ‘Freedom Shield’ and ‘Warrior Shield’ joint exercises from March 13 to 23.
South Korea and the United States will press ahead with large-scale military drills later this month despite North Korea threatening to take “unprecedentedly” strong action against such exercises.
The South Korean and US militaries will conduct military exercises from March 13 to 23 to strengthen their combined defensive capabilities, the two militaries said in a statement on Friday.
The exercises mark the longest edition of the exercises dubbed “Freedom Shield”, which according to South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency will involve a “joint computer-simulation command post exercise” that runs concurrently with a field training exercise, called “Warrior Shield”.
“Freedom Shield is designed to strengthen defence and response capabilities of the Alliance by focusing within the exercise scenario on things such as the changing security environment, DPRK aggression and lessons learned from recent wars and conflicts,” the joint statement said. DRPK are the initials of North Korea’s official name: the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
Previous joint military exercises have drawn sharp reactions from North Korea, including missile launches and nuclear threats, and it is likely that Pyongyang will respond to Freedom Shield with provocative missile tests and belligerent rhetoric.
North Korea is opposed to such drills, which it says are rehearsals for invasion by the US and its allies in Seoul.