News / Asia

US, South Korea to Hold Joint Military Exercises

U.S. Navy F/A-18F Super Hornet fighter jets sit in heavy fog on the deck of the USS George Washington, during a joint military exercise off South Korea's West Sea. (File)
U.S. Navy F/A-18F Super Hornet fighter jets sit in heavy fog on the deck of the USS George Washington, during a joint military exercise off South Korea's West Sea. (File)

The United States and South Korea are to hold two military exercises on the Korean peninsula soon. They will be the first such war games since the recent change of leadership in North Korea.

There had been speculation one or both of the joint U.S.-South Korean military drills might be postponed or called off this year. But on Friday, the U.S. and South Korea militaries announced the annual exercises would go ahead.

There has been some thought that war games might give North Korea's young, untested leader, Kim Jong Un, an excuse to flex his muscles to bolster national unity and his own credentials. He succeeded his late father last month and is a four-star general but is not known to have performed any actual military service.

Professor Kim Yeon-su, a specialist on North Korea, at the National Defense University in Seoul, downplays such concerns.

Kim says Pyongyang, in New Year's remarks carried in the state media, called 2012 a year for improving the lives of its citizens. So he says North Korea can be expected to focus on economic development rather than responding to routine annual training drills by the United States and South Korea with a military provocation.

A command post exercise, named "Key Resolve" is to start on February 27. It will involve 2,100 U.S. personnel, including 800 coming from Japan and elsewhere, as well as the participation of 200,000 South Korean troops.

Members of the U.N. Command, as well as officers from Australia, Britain, Canada, Denmark and Norway, are to observe.

U.S. military officials describe it as a training exercise, which will last until March 9, focusing on crisis management with a "whole of government" approach.

It will overlap with the start of a two-month joint tactical field exercise, known as "Foal Eagle." The training is to involve 11,000 U.S. forces, along with a still undecided number of  South Korean military divisions and smaller-sized units.

Foal Eagle, is to run from March 1 through April 30.

The United Nations Command Military Armistice Commission (UNMAC) says, at the border village of Panmunjom, it informed North Korea's army of the exercise dates and that it would be a non-provocative training.

North Korea does not see it that way. It has repeatedly called for the annual joint exercises to be scrapped, contending they are a provocation and a prelude to an invasion.

The Korean peninsula has been under a tense armistice since 1953. The three-year Korean civil war, which also involved U.S.-led United Nations forces on the side of the South and Chinese troops fighting for the North, ended with a truce. No peace treaty has been signed.

You May Like

Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Seen as a potential driver of recovery, Cairo’s plan to expand waterway had been raising hopes to give country much needed economic boost More

Ebola Maternity Ward in Sierra Leone First of its Kind

Country already had one of world's highest maternal mortality rates before Ebola arrived, virus has added even more complications to health care More

Malaysia Flight 370 Disappearance Ruled Accident

Aircraft disappeared on March 8, 2014; with ruling, families of 239 passengers and crew can now seek compensation from airline More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Webi
X
January 29, 2015 9:58 AM
Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video As Ground Shifts, Obama Reviews Middle East Strategy

The death of Saudi Arabia’s king, the collapse of a U.S.-friendly government in Yemen and a problematic relationship with Israel’s leadership are presenting a new set of complications for the Obama administration and its Middle East policy. Not only is the U.S. leader dealing with adversaries in Iran, the Islamic State and al-Qaida, but he is now juggling trouble with traditional allies, as White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long-distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures - for now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Saved By a Mistake - an Auschwitz Survivor's Story

Dagmar Lieblova was 14 when she arrived at Auschwitz in December 1943, along with her entire Czech Jewish family. All of them were to die there, but she was able to leave after several months due to a bureaucratic mix-up which saved her life. Now 85, with three children and six grandchildren, she says she has a feeling of victory. This report by Ahmad Wadiei and Farin Assemi, of RFE/RL's Radio Farda is narrated by RFE’s Raymond Furlong.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid