Seoul, Washington to hold ‘realistic’ military drills in 2023

Seoul, Dec 21 (EFE).- South Korea and the United States will expand the scale and variety of their military exercises and seek to recreate more “realistic” situations during the first half of 2023 in the face of advancing North Korean weapons programs, the defense ministry at Seoul said Wednesday.

In the first six months of the next year, the allies will carry out some 20 exercises, including annual drills such as Ssangyong, said the ministry following a meeting of top military commanders chaired by Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup.

The plan suggests that the allies may once again hold the Foal Eagle exercises, which were suspended in 2019 amid talks on disarmament with the North Korean regime.

“(We) decided to expand the scale and types of combined field drills in connection with combined exercises for the first half of next year,” the ministry said in a statement after the meeting.

The exercises will also seek to develop “realistic training scenarios in light of advancing North Korean nuclear and missile threats,” it added.

The meeting also discussed a plan to install a new Joint Chiefs of Staff division in charge of responding to threats from the North’s nuclear and weapons of mass destruction next month.

The meeting also discussed the plan to promote greater use of artificial intelligence in the army amid a declining birth rate in South Korea and a future shortage of troops.

North Korea has conducted a record number of missile tests this year, especially in the second half of the year, while South Korea and the US have have resumed their major military maneuvers. EFE


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