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S Korea, US to resume military drills from today

ANI | Updated: Nov 05, 2018 05:26 IST

Seoul [South Korea], Nov 5 (ANI): South Korea and the United States will resume their battalion-level marine exercises on Monday, which were suspended in exchange for a detente with North Korea.
Military officials said that the two countries will begin their joint training around the southeastern port city of Pohang. The military drill will comprise 500 troops from the South Korean Marine Corps and the US III Marine Expeditionary Force, Yonhap News Agency reported.
The Korea Marine Exercise Program (KMEP) was suspended in May for six months after Washington and Seoul were engaged in efforts to facilitate good relations with Pyongyang.
"The KMEP will start from November in accordance with the South Korea-US annual plan. It is an annual tactical combined forces training aimed at maintaining our joint Defence posture," a Marine official said.
The two countries were supposed to conduct 19 rounds of training as part of the exercise in fiscal 2018 (from October 2017 to September 2018), but only 11 of them were carried out.
Last month, the South Korean Marine Corps divulged at the country's parliament that the two nations planned to hold 24 rounds in fiscal 2019 (from October 2018 to September 2019).
Both South Korea and the US have suspended large-scale military drills, such as Ulchi Freedom Guardian exercises this summer and the Vigilant Ace air drill which was slated to be held next month.
The two sides will decide about the future of major exercises before December 1, South Korean Defence Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo had said last month. (ANI)