Ulchi Freedom Guardian 2017 exercise to begin August 21

Aug 20, 2017, 00:57
Ulchi Freedom Guardian 2017 exercise to begin August 21

The exercise will run through August 31, and is "designed to enhance readiness, protect the region and maintain stability on the Korean peninsula", according to a DOD statement.

Out of the 17,500 U.S. service members who are going to participate, about 3,000 coming from off-peninsula for the exercise that will start on August 21 and end on August 31.

The U.S. has rejected the "double freeze" plan proposed by China and backed by Russian Federation, which would require the U.S. and South Korea to end their military drills in exchange for the DPRK to suspend their missile tests. North Korea has termed the decision to hold the exercise a "catastrophe". If South Korea really wants no war on the Korean Peninsula, it should try to stop this military exercise. Information such as how long the drills will last and their objective is thought to have been conveyed.

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The exercise, which begins Monday, will last 10 days, and involve 20,500 foreign troops in a simulated defense of South Korea from an invasion by North Korea. They use realistic combat scenarios to simulate chains of command in both forces.

"As long as the USA hostile policy and nuclear threat continue, the DPRK. will never place its self-defensive nuclear deterrence on the negotiation table or flinch an inch from the road chosen by itself, the road of bolstering up the state nuclear force", Kim said during a phone conversation earlier this week with U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

This year's Ulchi Freedom Guardian comes in the wake of North Korea's recent ballistic missile flight tests and news reports of that country's purported ability to fit a nuclear warhead onto its missiles.

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Concerns over a hot war in the Northeast Asian region had peaked as Pyongyang had threatened to fire four ballistic missiles toward the waters off the USA territory of Guam. Hours later, North Korea responded with media reports of plans to send missiles toward Guam, a US territory and island in the Western Pacific. He will also view the joint Ulchi Freedom Guardian (UFG) exercise during the trip that will run through Tuesday.

Chung also said he is unequivocally opposed to the withdrawal of USA forces from the Korean peninsula. The number of US troops is 7,500 fewer than past year.

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