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Freedom Shield

To counter growing threats from North Korea, South Korean and U.S. forces held a combined exercise aimed at strengthening the allies' defense and response capabilities. The drill will also include a large-scale field training exercise for the first time in five years.

For 11 days starting March 13th, South Korea and the U.S. conducted their annual springtime military exercise. In a joint briefing at Seoul's defense ministry, officials from South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff and U.S. Forces Korea said the Freedom Shield exercise will focus on exercise scenarios --based on the changing security environment and lessons learned from recent wars. The allies will also maintain a firm defense posture to be ready for any provocation from North Korea during the training period.

"Our military will not tolerate actions by North Korea that threaten the lives and safety of our people. The South Korea and U.S. alliance will respond firmly to such actions with overwhelming capabilities." During the exercise period, the two countries will also conduct a number of large-scale combined field trainings, restored to the scale of the "Foal Eagle" drills for the first time in five years.

The allies said the trainings, involving an amphibious drill --are aimed at improving combined operation execution capabilities. "We're going to continue to do everything possible to strengthen that alliance, things like the annual exercise to increase readiness, providing extended deterrence options to defend the Peninsula, and being good neighbors within the community."

A trilateral missile warning drill with Japan, as well as a joint carrier strike drill involving an American aircraft carrier, would also take place during the training period.

Also, the air forces of the two countries held a combined aerial drill in South Korea. A B-1B bomber from the U.S. Air Force, along with South Korea's F-15K and KF-16 fighters took part. Seoul's defense ministry said this was to show Washington's "commitment and capability" to building deterrence against North Korea's evolving nuclear threats. It also explained that the exercise was held in line with the allies' agreement last year to deploy U.S. strategic assets in a "timely and coordinated" manner.



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Page last modified: 03-03-2023 13:34:19 ZULU