S. Korea, U.S. to stage joint annual drill next month

13:59, July 18, 2011      

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South Korea and the United States will begin their annual joint military drill next month, the U.S. Combined Forces Command (CFC) said Monday.

The war game dubbed Ulchi Freedom Guardian is slated for Aug. 16-26 and aimed at enhancing interoperability and the combat readiness of the allies, according to the CFC.

The exercise is "a defense-oriented, routine exercise designed to improve the alliance's ability to defend" South Korea, the CFC said in a statement, adding the computer-assisted simulation exercise will focus on training service members and exercising senior members' decision-making capabilities.

Some 30,000 U.S. forces and 56,000 South Korean troops are expected to join the exercise, the first one since James Thurman, new commander of the CFC, took office earlier this month.

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