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S. Korea, U.S. to hold drills for N. Korean leadership removal and civilian support

S. Korea, U.S. to hold drills for N. Korean leadership removal and civilian support

Posted March. 04, 2023 08:05,   

Updated March. 04, 2023 08:05


South Korea and the United States have confirmed that they will skip the "repel and defend" phase of the Freedom Shield joint military exercises. The exercises, which are scheduled to take place from March 13 to 23, will start with the ROK-U.S. alliance's "counterattack and stabilization operations in North Korea." This 11-day drill will be the longest one ever held.

According to a military source on Friday, the purpose of the "Freedom Shield" military exercises is to assess the ROK-U.S. alliance's ability to counterattack in case of a full-scale war with North Korea, as well as tactical scenarios during the winter season, rather than reacting passively to North Korea's preemptive provocations. The exercises will focus on the ROK-U.S. alliance's operations after the counterattack, which include stabilizing and managing areas that have been reclaimed in North Korea and providing humanitarian assistance to North Korean residents. The source explained that stabilization operations in North Korea involve restoring administrative power, maintaining security, and supporting the residents of areas that the ROK-U.S. alliance has recaptured after successfully countering North Korean provocations at the start of the war. The ultimate aim of the exercises is to remove the North Korean leadership responsible for the full-scale provocations against South Korea.

The upcoming military exercises between South Korea and the U.S. clearly demonstrate their commitment to proactively confront North Korea's provocative behavior, while also signaling that their focus is on the North Korean leadership and regime responsible for nuclear and missile threats. In addition, the joint military exercise named "Teak Knife" has also been announced, which involves a decapitation operation against North Korea. It includes deploying the newest special warfare aircraft of the U.S. Air Force, the AC-130J (also known as Ghostrider) GunShip, to the Korean Peninsula.

Sang-Ho Yun ysh1005@donga.com