Washington [US], May 27 (ANI): Combined military exercises are a key measure to ensure the readiness of South Korean and US forces, a Pentagon spokesman said on Wednesday adding "even as the pandemic has thrown the timetable out the window."
The spokesman noted the scope and timing of future exercises will be determined through close consultation between the two allies.
"Military readiness is a top priority of the Secretary of Defence. Our combined military training events are a principal method of ensuring our combined Alliance readiness," Yonhap News Agency said quoting," Lt. Col. Martin Meiners.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Wednesday (Seoul time) noted a field drill may be unlikely for the combined forces of South Korea and the United States in the near future due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"I believe it may be difficult for a large number of troops to undergo a field exercise like in the past due to current conditions," Moon said while meeting with the heads of five largest political parties in South Korea on the outcome of his meeting with US President Joe Biden in Washington last week, it reported.
Seoul and Washington last held a joint military exercise in March, but it was largely virtual due to the pandemic.
North Korea, however, continues to strongly denounce the joint military exercises as war rehearsals. The allies have another regular joint military drill scheduled to start in August.
"These training events are non-provocative, defensive in nature, and are intended to maintain alliance readiness to ensure we are ready to 'fight tonight,' the Defense Department spokesman said, using the slogan for US forces in Korea.
The United States has some 28,500 troops stationed in South Korea. (ANI)