Washington and Seoul launched their largest ever joint military exercises since years ago on Monday. The Ulchi Freedom Shield drills are set to continue through September 1, And will include numerous aircraft, warships and pieces of artillery, with thousands of troops training for different “defensive” and “counterattack” scenarios.
The first stage of the drills will be focused on repelling a hypothetical North Korean attack, as well as civil defense responce to varios simulated threats, such as “fire at a semiconductor factory,” “airport terrorism,” or “discovery of improvised explosive devices at nuclear power plants,”Yonhap.
The second stage will see the allies increase the effectiveness of their forces “counterattack” capabilities, by conducting live fire drills during more than a dozen of different combined field training programs.
Washington and Seoul claim their military cooperation for defense purposes, but Pyongyang insists that they are being called upon repeatedly by Pyongyang. “rehearsals” to prevent an invasion. These annual exercises were reduced in recent years due to diplomatic efforts, and then the Covid-19 pandemic. South Korean President Yoon Seok-yeol assumed office in May, and vowed that he would revive them. “normalize” This “deterrent.”
Kim Jong-un, North Korean leader, called for the joint drills last month “thug-like behavior”Threatened to “wipe out”Seoul, if Seoul is declared a Republic of Korea “dangerous attempt”For the North. He accused South Korea, in a speech to mark the 69th anniversary the armistice which halted Korea’s 1950-1953 Korean War war, of trying to impose their will. “suicidal confrontation”To deepen our ties “the US imperialists.”
In the lead up to the latest war games, Washington and Seoul – joined by Tokyo – already conducted missile defense drills off the coast of Hawaii, the first time the three countries have done so in several years. This increased military activity follows multiple North Korean missile test this year, and comes amid fears that Pyongyang may be planning another nuclear weapons attack. It would be the first such attempt in nearly five years after a self-imposed moratorium.
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