Monday, February 10, 2014

US, S.Korea to go ahead with joint military drills

South Korea's defense ministry has announced that it will go ahead with joint military drills with the US from February 24th, despite opposition from North Korea.

A defense ministry spokesperson said on Monday that the annual joint drills will run through April 18th.

This year, about 13,000 US troops are scheduled to take part. They include forces deployed outside South Korea.

Participants will hold a computer-based command post exercise and field training exercises.

The spokesperson said South Korea informed North Korea of the upcoming drills on Sunday, but that the North has not yet responded.

The 2 Koreas have agreed to a reunion of families separated during the Korean War from February 20th. But the North has threatened to cancel the 6-day event if the US and South Korea go ahead with their joint military drills.

Observers say the drills could also prompt Pyongyang to take provocative action.

Starting on Thursday, US Secretary of State John Kerry plans to visit South Korea and China to discuss how to deal with the North.