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Iran Press TV

US, South Korea set to start joint military drill: Report

Iran Press TV

Fri Mar 1, 2013 10:35AM GMT

Washington and Seoul are set to launch annual joint military exercises as thousands of US troops have gathered in South Korea amid heightening tensions in the Korean Peninsula, a report says.

The troops reportedly arrived in South Korea on Friday. Over 10,000 American troops along with South Korean personnel are slated to hold joint air, ground and naval field training exercises called Foal Eagle in March and April.

'US troops of reinforcement headed off [to South Korea] from the bases in the US, the Pacific and Japan,' South Korea's Yonhap news agency quoted a military official as saying.

Meanwhile, the US and South Korean troops are planning to hold a computer-simulated drill known as Key Resolve from March 11-21.

In a phone message to General James Thurman, the commander of the US Forces Korea, on February 23, Pak Rim-su, chief delegate of the North Korean military mission to the inter-Korean truce village of Panmunjom, said, "If your side ignites a war of aggression by staging the reckless joint military exercises...at this dangerous time, from that moment your fate will be hung by a thread with every hour."

North Korea says the joint military drills are a "hostile act" that has bolstered its defenses.

In recent years, the US and South Korea have conducted several massive joint sea and air drills in waters east of the Korean Peninsula.

South Korea has already staged a series of military exercises separately or jointly with the United States since North Korea launched a long-range rocket in December 2012.

Pyongyang said it has successfully conducted its third underground nuclear test on February 12 in response to the UN sanctions that were imposed on the country following its December rocket launch.

MR/HMV



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