US, S Korea to start bilateral military drills

ANI | Updated: Mar 20, 2018 12:50 IST

Pyeongchang [South Korea], Mar 20 (ANI): South Korea and the United States are soon going to start their bilateral military drills on April 1 that had been delayed due to the recently concluded Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, the defence authorities announced on Tuesday.

There will be no change in the overall size and program from previous exercises, although a field training period will be halved due to the Winter Olympics, Yonhap quoted military officials as saying.

Further, the Defence chiefs of both South Korea and the US have agreed to hold the annual 'key resolve' and 'Foal Eagle' drills that had been earlier postponed due to the Olympic event.

The United Nations Command of US informed the military of North Korea about the schedule of the drills while saying that it was a part of regular training and not defensive in nature.

The entire communication regarding the military details of US-North Korea is being conducted via yellow sea district hotline.

Further, Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission, which had been established to regulate the bilateral relations between North-South Korea, will supervise the drills to ensure that they conform to the Armistice Agreement that ended the 1950-53 Korean War.

More than 100 soldiers across ten US states will be participating in the drills.

Earlier the all-weather allies US-North Korea used to conduct such exercises in late February which lasted for around two months.

The drills are expected to wrap up ahead of the North-South Korea Summit scheduled to be held in late April.

"Key Resolve will take place for about two weeks from mid-April, and Foal Eagle is to run for four weeks," an official at South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) told Yonhap.

In connection with Foal Eagle, which involves massive field operations, the two countries' marines are to conduct the Ssangyong (double dragon) exercise on the peninsula from April 1-8. South Korea will field a regime, and the U.S. will send a brigade to it.

Earlier, North Korea had called on to the United States and South Korea to suspend their frequent military deals for the sake of initiating a dialogue between the two Korean countries.

North Korea said that such bilateral military drills could be a 'source of catastrophe' for the Korean Peninsula. (ANI)

iocl