South Korea to formally notify North on joint drill with US
Iran Press TV
Sun Jan 26, 2014 11:14AM GMT
South Korea has announced plans to formally notify North Korea and China about its intent to conduct an annual joint military drill with the United States.
South Korea and the US are scheduled to hold the annual Key Resolve command post war games for two weeks from late February to early March in an effort to practice joint combat readiness and capabilities to deter 'threats' from North Korea, Yonhap News Agency reported, citing South Korean government sources.
“We will notify China and North Korea of the schedule and purposes of Key Resolve in accordance with international practice," the sources said.
“After the Lunar New Year holiday, we will offer explanations through military diplomacy channels and the Military Armistice Commission."
According to the report, Pyongyang had earlier called for the cancellation of the joint drill.
The report further added that following the Key Resolve exercise, South Korea and the US also plan to hold a field training drill, called Foal Eagle, through the end of April. The exercise will involve a large number of troops from both countries.
North Korea has long denounced these maneuvers as a rehearsal for an invasion of the country, though the South and the US have repeatedly said that the drills are defensive in nature.
North Korea has also proposed that the two Koreas stop military provocations and mutual slandering to improve bilateral relations.
South Korea has rejected the demand, saying it will hold the exercises as intended.
Nearly 28,500 US troops are currently stationed in South Korea.
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