News / Asia

Amid Tensions, US, S. Korea to Hold Annual Military Drills

A U.S. Marine from the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit aims his machine gun during the joint U.S.-South Korean military exercises, Foal Eagle, in Pohang, south of Seoul, South Korea, March 29, 2012.
A U.S. Marine from the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit aims his machine gun during the joint U.S.-South Korean military exercises, Foal Eagle, in Pohang, south of Seoul, South Korea, March 29, 2012.
VOA News
The United States and South Korea have announced plans for large-scale joint military exercises next month, just weeks after North Korea's latest nuclear test raised regional tensions.

A statement issued by the Combined Forces Command on Thursday says the annual war drills will begin on March 1 with a month-long series of air, ground and naval exercises known as Foal Eagle. Separately, it announced a two-week, computer-based simulation called Key Resolve, which will begin on March 11.

The allies' statement says the exercises are designed to enhance the security and readiness of South Korea and insists they are deterrent in nature. The North sees the drills as preparation to invade its territory.

Pyongyang has recently taken steps to demonstrate its own military power. It conducted its third and most powerful nuclear test yet on February 12. In December, it successfully launched a satellite into space, in a move critics say was a disguised ballistic missile test.

North Korea has also stepped up its violent rhetoric. This week, a North Korean diplomat threatened South Korea with "final destruction," saying Pyongyang could take further steps after the nuclear test if Seoul and its allies continue to push for tougher United Nations sanctions against its nuclear program.

Current U.N. sanctions ban North Korea from conducting nuclear or missile tests. The U.N. Security Council is currently considering expanded measures aimed at stopping the tests.

North Korea insists its nuclear weapons program is defensive in nature and necessary to counter the 28,500 American troops stationed across the border. The two Koreas have been technically in a state of war for more than 60 years. The agreement that ended the 1950-53 civil war hostilities was only a truce.

You May Like

Polls Open in Scotland Independence Vote

As race to persuade undecided voters continues, 'No' voters say they believe life in Scotland will slowly improve, 'Yes' vote not worth the risk More

South Africa’s 'Open Mosque' Admits Everyone, Including Critics

Open Mosque founder plans to welcome gay worshipers and allow women to lead prayers More

Ukrainian Activist in Despair About Future of Her Country

IrIna Dovgan, accused of being a spy and tortured by pro-Russian separatists, is appealing to UN Human Rights Council to support her country More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Wateri
X
September 17, 2014 8:44 PM
Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid