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S. Korean military to scale down own drills amid talks with N. Korea

S. Korean military to scale down own drills amid talks with N. Korea

Posted June. 21, 2018 07:52,   

Updated June. 21, 2018 07:52


Following the suspension of the South Korea-U.S. Ulchi Freedom Guardian (UFG) joint military exercise, the South Korean military is also planning to minimize its own drills.

A source in the South Korean military said on Tuesday that the military is leaning towards maintaining a low key in its drills following the suspension of the UFG. The source said that the atmosphere of South Korean military scaling down its own independent military drills is in consideration of dialogue with North Korea.

The Taegeuk exercise, which the South Korean military holds in June or July every year, is a "war game" based on computer simulation, just like the UFG, while November’s Hoguk exercise involves actual field maneuvering mobilizing troops and equipment. The Joint Chiefs of Staff headquarters supervises both drills.

The Taegeuk exercise includes a scenario in which the South Korean military launches a retaliatory attack on Pyongyang with hundreds of missiles in the event of the North Korean multiple rocket launchers’ massive shelling on Seoul and the surrounding areas.

Some experts inside and outside of the South Korean military predict that Seoul will scale down the drills, even if it conducts them, without disclosing details about them. One military source noted that while the South Korean military conducted large-scale publicity campaigns about live-fire, landing, and river-crossing drills during the Hoguk exercise in previous years, the military will likely keep a low profile on the drills.

Sang-Ho Yun ysh1005@donga.com