S. Korea, US Set to Begin Annual Joint Military Drills

TEHRAN (Tasnim) - South Korea and the United States will kick off their annual joint military drills this week, the Combined Forces Command (CFC) said Sunday, amid North Korea's repeated threats against the exercises.

S. Korea, US Set to Begin Annual Joint Military Drills

The computerized command post exercise, called Key Resolve, will be held from Monday to next Friday to improve the combined forces' operation and combat capabilities to deter threats from the North.

The two-week war game will involve about 10,000 South Korean and 8,600 American troops to test various scenarios in which South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff plays a leading role in conducting operations.

Separately, the allies are scheduled to carry out the field training exercise Foal Eagle, which involves a set of land, sea and air maneuvers, from Monday to April 24.

The two-month tactical training will mobilize about 200,000 Korean and 3,700 American troops, mostly from overseas, Yonhap reported.

According to the CFC, the USS Fort Worth, a 3,450-ton Freedom-class littoral combat ship, will take part in the Key Resolve drill. The combat ship is armed with surface warfare mission package capabilities, including an MH-60R helicopter and Mark 110 57-millimeter gun.

Five countries -- Australia, Canada, Denmark, France and Britain -- are scheduled to participate in the exercises, with the Neutral Supervisory Commission to observe and monitor them to ensure they do not break the Armistice Agreement signed at the end of the 1950-53 Korean War.

A military source said South Korea and the US have stepped up their joint surveillance system in the run-up to the joint military drills.

North Korea has called on the allies to stop the military drills, calling them a dress rehearsal for an invasion of the communist country.

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