South Korea and the United States set to resume joint military exercises

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Joint military exercises between South Korea and the United States resume on Monday August 22 after more than four years of interruption. These fictitious operations aim to prepare the country in the event of a North Korean attack and to strengthen coordination between the two allies while missile tests and sulphurous declarations have multiplied on the side of Pyongyang.

Missile fire, large maneuvers of troops and tanks… The military ritual of spring is back in the south of the Korean peninsula. Baptized “ Ulchi Freedom Field “, these exercises which will be held from August 22 to September 1 will be by far the most important for several years.

Exercises have been canceled for the past four years, Explain Daniel Pinkston, specialist in defense issues on the Korean peninsula and professor at Troy University. In 2018 and 2019 it was for political reasons, in 2020 and 2021 it was because of the pandemic. Meanwhile, North Korea continued to work on its ballistic and nuclear programs. The cancellation of these exercises in the South has reduced the military response capacity, so in a way, we are witnessing a return to the normal training cycle that we knew before 2018. »

Risk of North Korean response

If online simulations have been held in recent years, the deployment of troops is likely to annoy Pyongyang, whose rhetoric has become more aggressive since the arrival of conservative Yoon Suk-yeol at the head of South Korea.

The latter had insisted on the need to multiply preparation exercises in the face of the constant improvement of the North Korean military arsenal, during his meeting with Joe Biden in May. The question now lies in the intensity of the response of the communist regime which may wish, in turn, to show its muscles to its neighbour.

►Also read: In response to the North Korean test, Seoul and Washington launch ballistic missiles

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