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Annual Military Drills Between South Korea and US Commence

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S.Korea, US begin key annual military drills

South Korea and the US have started a major combined military exercise, ‘Freedom Shield,’ to counter North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats. The 11-day exercise focuses on improving defense posture, including multi-domain operations to deter potential provocations from North Korea.

The annual ‘Freedom Shield’ exercise began amid heightened tensions over North Korea’s recent military activities, such as artillery firings and missile launches. This comes after Pyongyang scrapped a 2018 inter-Korean military accord, raising concerns about possible provocative demonstrations by the North.

Both Seoul and Washington emphasized that the exercise is purely defensive in nature, aimed at enhancing their combined defense capabilities. The drill will involve scenarios simulating various threats, including the detection and interception of North Korea’s cruise missiles.

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A total of 48 on-field drills are planned for this month, more than double the number conducted last year, with the participation of personnel from 12 member states of the United Nations Command. The Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission will observe the exercises, highlighting the international support for South Korea’s security.

Established in 1950 during the Korean War, the US-led multinational command has been supporting South Korea, with the NNSC overseeing the armistice implementation. The exercise underscores the ongoing efforts to maintain stability on the Korean Peninsula, despite the lack of a peace treaty officially ending the Korean War.

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