Conflicts & War

Seoul, Washington to hold major military exercises Mar. 13 to Mar. 23

Seoul, Mar 3 (EFE).- South Korea and the United States said Friday they would carry out their great Freedom Shield spring military maneuvers from Mar. 13 to Mar. 23, exercises to which Pyongyang, which has carried out repeated missile tests, said it would give an “unprecedented” response.

“The Freedom Shield is designed to strengthen the alliance’s defense and response capabilities,” said South Korean Join Chiefs of Staff Spokesman Lee Sung-jun at a press conference in Seoul, also attended by the US Forces Korea representative Isaac Taylor.

Taylor said the premise of the exercise will focus on elements such as “the changing security environment, aggression by (North) Korea and lessons learned from recent wars and conflicts.”

During the 11 days in which the Freedom shield will take place, a series of “large-scale” maneuvers will also be carried out on the ground that have “recovered the scale of Foal eagle” and which will receive the name of Warrior shield.

The Foal Eagle military exercises were regular allied ground exercises suspended in 2019 to try to improve relations during disarmament talks with North Korea, currently at a standstill.

One of those new “large-scale” field drills included in Warrior shield will be an amphibious exercise “to be conducted to enhance combined operations execution capabilities,” Lee explained.

In February Pyongyang, which sees these maneuvers as a test run to invade its territory, threatened to give an “unprecedented response” to Freedom Shield.

Shortly after, it said if the US periodically rotates deployment of strategic assets on the peninsula and its plan to hold major military exercises with South Korea, the regime could view these actions as a “declaration of war.”

The peninsula is experiencing a historic level of tension after 2022 in which Pyongyang, which has rejected offers to return to dialogue, carried out a record number of weapons tests and in which the allies once again carried out great maneuvers and deployed strategic assets such as nuclear powered aircraft carriers or bombers.

Given the apparent lack of will to promote detente on both sides, experts have pointed out the growing danger of a miscalculation that could have fatal consequences. EFE


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