South Korea, U.S. begin joint war drill to deter North Korea
South Korea and the United States on Monday began their annual two-week joint war exercise to test and improve their joint defense posture against North Korea, the defense ministry said.
The computer-aided Ulchi Freedom Guardian kicked off for a 12-day run, mobilizing some 50,000 South Korean forces and 30,000 U.S. servicemen, including some 3,000 from its homeland and other overseas bases.
With the training expected to include diverse defense drills to curb North Korea's possible provocations, this year will be the first time for the allies to implement their customized deterrence plan against Pyongyang's nuclear threats and weapons of mass destruction, according to the ministry.
The bilateral strategy, drawn up during their defense ministerial meeting last year, delineates how they should work together to deter both wartime and peacetime aggression from Pyongyang, from saber-rattling to the actual use of force.