U.S., South Korea to hold joint large-scale military exercises
The United States and South Korea will conduct more than 10 days of large-scale military exercises in March, including amphibious landings, officials from the two countries said
The “Freedom Shield” drills will be held from March 13 to March 23 to strengthen the allies’ combined defensive posture, the two militaries said in a statement released at a briefing in Seoul.
On Friday, the two militaries conducted a combined air drill with at least one American B-1B long-range bomber and South Korean F-15K and KF-16 fighter aircraft, South Korea’s ministry of defense said in a statement.
The aim was to practice coordination as well as demonstrate American “extended deterrence” against Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s (DPRK) threats, the ministry said. Such exercises have in the past drawn sharp reactions from DPRK, including missile tests and nuclear threats.
DPRK says such joint military exercises are proof that the United States and its allies are hostile and bent on regime change.
When asked about the DPRK’s reaction, Colonel Isaac Taylor, a spokesman for U.S. Forces Korea, said the drills were routine and purely defensive.
South Korean officials have noted DPRK is also conducting annual winter drills.