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Seoul, Washington agree to reduce the size of military exercises  

Seoul, Washington agree to reduce the size of military exercises  

Posted July. 05, 2021 07:27,   

Updated July. 05, 2021 07:27


The governments of Korea and the U.S. are known to have tentatively agreed to reduce the size of joint military exercises in August. By this agreement, military exercises of the second half of this year are projected to be using computer simulation and significantly reduced in the size just as the drills in last August and March this year.

The Dong-A Ilbo’s reports including information from multiple government sources on Sunday found that Seoul and Washington recently agreed on the large picture to conduct joint military drills on the second week of August in the similar scale as those in March. The Korean government has been discussing with the U.S. on multiple options such as delaying or reducing the size of military exercises and expanding the size. Some projected that military drills may be expanded as the vaccination rate of Korean and American soldiers started to increase from the first half of this year.  

But as they decided to reduce the size, the possibility of field training exercise not being held for four years since August 2018 has become higher. It seems that the U.S. more or less accepted South Korea’s judgement that normalizing the drill size would provoke North Korea, which has been demanding suspension of it, thus putting a damper on the resumption of the U.S.-North Korea talks. “Our talks with the U.S. were successful,” said a South Korean government insider. “Military authorities of the two countries will continue to discuss on details such as content of the drills and reinforcement of the U.S. troops.”  

The joint military drills planned to be held in March last year was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In August last year and March this year, the drills were significantly reduced in size and conducted in computer simulation without live training

Ji-Sun Choi aurinko@donga.com