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S. Korea, US to Hold Combined Military Drill from Aug. 22

S. Korea, US to Hold Combined Military Drill from Aug. 22

Posted July. 12, 2022 08:06,   

Updated July. 12, 2022 08:06


The South Korean and U.S. military have tentatively agreed to conduct annual combined military exercises from Aug. 22 to Sept. 1. With the combined command post-training (CCPT) - a computer simulation-based training exercise - field training exercises (FTX) could also resume after a four-year hiatus.

According to the military authorities on Monday, the two countries will be conducting joint military drills from Aug. 22 to Sept. 1. During the combined military drills this fall, South Korea and the U.S. also plan to conduct a two-step assessment of the combined forces command’s Full Operational Capability (FOC), which is being led by South Korea after the OPCON transfer. In addition, they will discuss whether to resume the field training exercises, which have been practically suspended under the former Moon Jae-in administration. The two allies' new move came in line with the joint statement from the May summit between the two leaders, to begin a dialogue on expanding the "scope and scale" of combined drills against North Korea's evolving threats. That being said, even if the field training exercises restart, it would be difficult to hold a large-scale one, mobilizing troops and equipment at the regiment level or above considering the force employment of the U.S. troops and Covid-19 situations.

In the meantime, the ROK Air force, and the U.S. Air Forces in South Korea and Japan confirmed that they carried out military drills using a life-size mock warhead of Scud missiles as rehearsals for North Korea’s chemical attacks. Although South Korea and the U.S. have been holding military drills in key air bases to prepare for North Korea’s possible chemical attacks using short-range missiles, it was the first time they publicly confirmed that they had used a life-size mock warhead of Scud missiles.

The Department of Defense disclosed that the military drill was held at Suwon Air Base on Wednesday with the participation of U.S. soldiers from the JASDF Misawa Air Base in Aomori, Japan as well as EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) soldiers from the ROK Air force and the U.S. Air Forces in South Korea. It added that the drill was carried out to enhance the interoperability and preparedness of the ROK and the U.S. Air Forces by acquiring tactics on explosive ordnance disposal procedures.

Sang-Ho Yun ysh1005@donga.com