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South Korea and US started military exercises: Reason named

South Korea and US started military exercises: Reason named South Korea and the US have started military exercises (photo: GettyImages)

South Korea and the US have started their spring military exercises, according to Reuters.

South Korean and US militaries kicked off their spring drills on Monday with twice the number of troops joining compared to last year, officials said, as the allies seek to better counter North Korea's increasing nuclear and missile threats.

These will be the first exercises since Pyongyang withdrew from the inter-Korean military pact in November 2018. The exercises will take place from March 4 to March 14, against the backdrop of North Korea continuing to develop its nuclear potential through missile tests and other weapons.

Twice as many servicemen from both sides will be involved compared to last year, in 48 rounds of combined field training, including air attacks, the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) of South Korea reported.

The exercises are primarily aimed at neutralizing North Korea's nuclear threats, including by identifying and striking cruise missiles, which Pyongyang had indicated could carry nuclear warheads, JCS spokesperson Colonel Lee Sung-jun said.

A nuclear attack scenario will be integrated into summertime drills, he added.

Pyongyang has angrily reacted to the allies' drills, calling them rehearsals for a nuclear war.

Seoul and Washington say the exercises are defensive and a response to the North's threats.

Provocations by North Korea

Earlier, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un made a series of statements indicating his desire and readiness to start a war with South Korea.

By the way, in January, North Korea announced the testing of new winged missiles.