Seoul says drill is defensive in nature after Pyongyang warns of serious security crisis.
ANKARA (AA) – The US and South Korea launched annual joint military exercises Monday despite strong opposition and threats of a serious security crisis from North Korea, local media reported.
The nine-day command post exercise staged on the peninsula is based largely on a computer simulation with no field training, Yonhap News Agency reported, citing a statement from South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff.
“The drill is defensive in nature as usual,” the military said.
According to the report, Washington has not formally informed Pyongyang. Normally, the US gives prior notice on the schedules of the allies’ regular exercises.
Last week, North Korea warned the US and South Korea of a possible security crisis over their joint military drills.
In a statement, Kim Yo-jong, vice department director of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea, said Washington and Seoul are holding the joint military exercises despite their repeated warnings, which will surely make them face a more serious security threat.
Earlier, the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un also warned that Pyongyang could move to bolster its nuclear and conventional weapons program to contain an external threat to their country.
Last month, North Korea and South Korea restored cross-border communication lines that were cut off by Pyongyang in June last year.
North Korea severed communication with South Korea and also blew up an inter-Korean liaison office along the border in June 2020.