MNA International Desk: The South Korean and US militaries on Monday began their first major annual military drills amid threats from North Korea, reported news agency.
The Ulchi Freedom Guardian (UFG) exercise will conclude on August 31. It is focusing on a ‘tailored joint deterrence strategy’ based on the Operational Plan 5015 of the Combined Forces Command, officials said.
In an unusual gesture, three top U. military commanders—Pacific Command chief Admiral Harry Harris, Strategic Command head Gen. John Hyten and Missile Defence Agency Director Lt. Gen. Samuel Greaves—will observe the command-post exercise in person.
It involves tens of thousands of South Korean soldiers. In a press statement, the Ministry of National Defence did not specify the number. Ministry officials said the size is similar to that of last year, roughly 50,000.
The US has reduced the number of its participating service members to 17,500 from 25,000, according to the Pentagon.