US, South Korea stage massive landing drill
Iran Press TV
Mon Mar 30, 2015 8:17AM
Thousands of US and South Korean soldiers have staged a massive joint amphibious landing drill, involving aircraft, naval vessels and armored vehicles, as part of an annual military exercise.
On Monday, 7,600 troops, including 3,500 marines took part in the war games to secure a bridgehead along the South Korean coast of Pohang, some 360 kilometers (223 miles) south of the capital Seoul.
The drill, supervised by US and South Korean military commanders, included 80 aircraft, 30 ships and a large number of armored vehicles and tanks.
The landing exercise is regarded the highlight of a joint war game named Foal Eagle, held annually by the two countries.
The eight-week-long drill was launched on March 2 and is scheduled to end on April 24. Another drill, dubbed Key Resolve, was also launched on the same day, consisting of a largely computer-simulated exercise that focuses on practicing command and control procedures, lasting just over a week.
At the start of the joint war games, North Korea pledged a "merciless" response to the United States and South Korea for their annual joint military exercises.
A spokesman for the Korean People's Army (KPA) was quoted at the time as saying "the only means to cope with the aggression and war by the US imperialists and their followers is neither dialogue nor peace. They should be dealt with only by merciless strikes."
In an address to the Central Military Commission of the Workers' Party on February 23, North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un called on the country's army to increase its combat readiness.
Pyongyang has denounced the maneuvers as a practice for invasion, calling for them to be called off to avoid military tensions between South and North Korea and improve bilateral ties.
The two Koreas remain technically at war since the 1950-53 Korean War, which ended in an armistice, not a peace treaty.
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