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S. Korea-U.S. joint drills to begin without outdoor maneuvers

S. Korea-U.S. joint drills to begin without outdoor maneuvers

Posted March. 08, 2021 07:39,   

Updated March. 08, 2021 07:39


South Korea and the United States will conduct the first joint exercise of the year from Monday to March 19, which will only involve a computer-simulated command post exercise (CPX) without outdoor maneuvers. It is said that the drills have been scaled back significantly again this year in the light of COVID 19 and North Korea’s demand for cancelling the exercise, which has raised concerns that the lack of field trainings since 2019 will weaken the combat readiness of the combined forces as well as the forces of South Korea.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said the two countries decided to move forward with the drills for nine days from Monday after taking into consideration of COVID-19, combat readiness and diplomatic efforts to achieve the denuclearization and peace on the Korean Peninsula, adding that the exercise is defensive in nature only involving computer simulations. “It has been reduced compared to the previous year due to the pandemic,” said a source from the JCS.

The CPX is a type of training where the combined forces gather at a command post and watch mock trainings that use computer simulations on a computer screen to learn military operations during a war. Seoul and Washington ended Key Resolve (computer simulations) and Foal Eagle (outdoor maneuvers), the annual drills that were conducted in every March and April from 2019 following the 2018 United States-North Korea summit and replaced them with the CPX. The last large-scale outdoor maneuver held at the regiment level or above was the Foal Eagle training in April 2018.

Kyu-Jin Shin newjin@donga.com