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South Korea, US begin joint military drills

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Seoul: South Korea and the United States kicked off their annual, massive military exercises as North Korean leader Kim Jong-un ordered his troops to prepare for a “merciless strike” against enemies.

The drills always raise tensions on the divided Korean peninsula and this year they come after the North’s recent ballistic missile test and the assassination by nerve agent of Kim’s half brother.

Participation in the joint exercises known as Key Resolve and Foal Eagle, is similar to last year.

The spokesman said 3,600 US troops have been deployed for the Foal Eagle exercises, the first of the two drills that stretch over two months, but declined to provide a total figure.

South Korean Defence Minister Han Min-koo “stressed the need to bolster the drills” in a phone call with his US counterpart James Mattis, who vowed “effective and overwhelming response” against any use of nuclear weapons, Seoul’s defence ministry said.

Dozens of protesters gathered outside the US embassy in Seoul yesterday protesting the start of the exercises, claiming they would “bring the peninsula sharply closer to the brink of a nuclear war”.

Source by: Internet

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