Seoul – South Korean broadcasters and the Yonhap news agency has reported that armed forces of the United States and South Korea began their annual summer exercises on Monday.
South Korea’s military had announced on Sunday, however, that the nine-day commando exercise Combined Command Post Training would be conducted on a reduced scale without field training.
The coronavirus pandemic and “efforts to denuclearise the Korean Peninsula,” which means the goal of North Korea’s nuclear disarmament had played a role in the decision.
Pyongyang regularly accuses the U.S. of using its maneuvers with South Korea to prepare for an attack.
However, Washington and Seoul denied the allegation.
Most recently, the vice chairperson of the central committee of North Korea’s ruling Workers’ Party, Kim Yong Chol, threatened in a statement that South Korea would face a “serious security crisis” because of its military exercises with the U.S.
Earlier, North Korean strongman Kim Jong Un’s influential sister, Kim Yo Jong, threatened that North Korea would build up its capabilities for powerful pre-emptive strikes.
According to South Korea, the latest military exercise would focus on computer simulations. Only absolutely necessary personnel would take part.
In past years, the U.S. and South Korea had already reduced the maneuvers for diplomatic reasons.
Negotiations on North Korea’s nuclear programme have not progressed since Kim Jong Un’s failed summit with then U.S. president Donald Trump in Vietnam in February 2019.
The current U.S. administration under President Joe Biden had offered new talks without conditions, but North Korea has rejected this option. (dpa/NAN)Follow Us on Social Media for Latest news