Tags: US | SKorea | drill | military

U.S., SKorea to Conduct Joint Military Drill

Thursday, 18 Feb 2010 10:30 AM

SEOUL – The United States and South Korea will go ahead next month with a major annual military exercise set to anger North Korea but fewer US troops than last year will take part, officials said Thursday.

North Korea denounces the exercise and other annual military drills in the South as a rehearsal for invasion, a claim denied by Seoul and Washington.

The Key Resolve and Foal Eagle exercise, slated for March 8-18, will draw 18,000 US troops including 10,000 stationed in South Korea and 8,000 from abroad, said Combined Forces Command spokesman Kim Yong-Kyu.

Some 26,000 US troops took part in the exercise last year.

"An aircraft carrier which came last year will not participate this time," the spokesman said, adding that the scaling-down of the exercise was governed only by operational considerations.

The defence ministry gave no figure for the number of South Korean troops taking part but said an army corps, naval fleets and wings of the air force would be involved.

The US-led United Nations Command has already informed the North about the exercise dates and their routine nature.

The US, South Korea and other negotiators are trying to bring the communist North back to nuclear disarmament talks which it quit last April.

In May 2009 North Korea defiantly staged its second atomic weapons test, incurring tougher UN sanctions.

It insists these should be lifted before talks resume and also wants a US commitment to hold discussions about a permanent peace treaty between the two sides.

The 1950-53 Korean War, in which the United States led an international force under the UN flag, ended only in an armistice. The US has based troops in South Korea ever since and currently has 28,500 there.

Copyright © 2010 AFP. All rights reserved.


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SEOUL – The United States and South Korea will go ahead next month with a major annual military exercise set to anger North Korea but fewer US troops than last year will take part, officials said Thursday.
US,SKorea,drill,military
294
2010-30-18
Thursday, 18 Feb 2010 10:30 AM
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