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S Korea, U.S. launch massive landing drill amid tensions

9 Comments

Nearly 15,000 South Korean and U.S. troops kicked off a 12-day amphibious landing drill Thursday, the largest for two decades, a day after North Korea launched two mid-range ballistic missiles.

Code-named Ssang Yong ("Twin Dragons"), the exercise on the South's southeastern coast will last until April 7 and involve around 10,000 US troops.

"The scale of this year's Ssang Yong is greater than any others in the past," a US military spokesman told AFP.

The U.S. forces will include 7,500 marines belonging to the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade, based in Okinawa, Japan.

Yonhap news agency said 3,500 Marines and 1,000 Navy sailors would take part from South Korea.

It will be the largest joint marine drill of its kind since the annual Team Spirit exercises held between 1976 and 1993.

North Korea views such exercises as provocative rehearsals for invasion and there is a risk they could further fuel already simmering military tensions.

Pyongyang has carried out a series of rocket and short-range missile launches in recent weeks, sparking condemnation from Seoul and Washington.

On Wednesday, it upped the ante by test-firing two mid-range ballistic missiles capable of striking Japan.

United Nations resolutions prohibit North Korea from conducting ballistic missile tests and the U.N. Security Council was set to hold closed-door consultations Thursday to discuss a possible condemnation of the latest missile launches.

There are nearly 30,000 U.S. troops permanently stationed in South Korea and the two countries stage annual military drills that are routinely condemned by Pyongyang.

Earlier this month, the North's powerful National Defense Commission threatened to "demonstrate" its nuclear deterrent in the face of what it called U.S. hostility.

Seoul's defense ministry warned Wednesday that North Korea could be building up towards a major provocation, but added there were "no signs" of Pyongyang preparing an imminent nuclear test.

North Korea has staged three nuclear tests in 2006, 2009 and 2013.

© (c) 2014 AFP

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

9 Comments
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And DPRK responds with mass hairdressing manoeuvres. The horror!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I'm guessing Japan wanted to participate but had to sit back and do nothing thanks to Abe. As for Pyong-Yang feeling bad about it, tough luck. Don't fire off ballistic missiles and not expect others to conduct drills.

-8 ( +0 / -8 )

What a total and complete waste of time, energy and money.

Haven't they got anything better to do?

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Need to order a new case of fuses for the NK leaders.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What a total and complete waste of time, energy and money.

Haven't they got anything better to do?

Yes, it's MUCH better to just assume your allies will work with you in coordination rather than actually practice doing so. There have NEVER been cases where the allies use different frequnecies/codes for communication, or have equipment that doesn't work as expected with the other allies' equipment. Why bother spending the time and money to find out about that BEFORE lives are actually at stake? It's cheaper to just throw them all into battle without any planning or practice.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I'm guessing Japan wanted to participate but had to sit back and do nothing thanks to Abe. As for Pyong-Yang feeling bad about it, tough luck. Don't fire off ballistic missiles and not expect others to conduct drills.

You guess wrong. Japan doesn't have a collective defense and SK does want them touching the Korean soil. With OPCOM taking place in 2015, South Korea is basically on her own.

"The U.S. forces will include 7,500 marines belonging to the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade, based in Okinawa, Japan."

Which in real situation, needs Japanese government's approval when $hit does hit the fan. This is why Obama asked for the recent summit.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

all this posing and parading.. some lunatic is going to push a button and the fireworks is going to start.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I hope Japan doesn't get involved in any of this. South Korean president made it clear she hates Japan more than China or NK. If/when North and South Korea engages in a war, we don't need to help them in any way.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Surely there is secret drill to neutralize and destroy tunnels, I presume that Fat Kim can send many Nk people to die buried alive for glory of him Clan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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