South Korea and the U.S. will start the joint military drill for the second half of this year from the second week of this month with its size reduced. Some within the government suggested the necessity to delay or suspend training to secure the momentum to resume talks with North Korea after restoring the inter-Korean communication channel, but the military authorities of the two allies decided to conduct the drill as planned.
According to multiple government insiders on Sunday, military authorities of South Korea and the U.S. started preparations to conduct the drill from August 16 to 26, starting with the Crisis Management Staff Training on August 10 to 13. The South Korean government delivered a suggestion to reduce the size of the military drill to that of the first half of this year considering current situations including inter-Korean relations to the U.S. that prioritizes reviewing the military readiness posture by normalizing the drill. The two countries are known to have aligned on this issue. “There are ongoing discussions related to the drill in the National Security Council,” said an insider. “Military authorities will continue to discuss details while preparing for the drill as planned until the NSC makes the final decision.” Military authorities will make an official announcement on August 15, a day before the drill starts.
A level two full operational capacity (FOC) verification for the transfer of wartime operation control, which the Moon Jae-in administration actively worked on will be conducted only as a dry run. The transfer is not likely to be done within the term of this administration as the U.S. once again revealed its intention that it will not conduct a full-scale FOC verification in this drill, just like last year.
Ji-Sun Choi email@example.com