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


15:58, July 23, 2012

SEOUL, July 23 (Xinhua) -- South Korea and the United States will conduct their annual joint military drill next month, the U.S. Combined Forces Command (CFC) said Monday.

The drill dubbed Ulchi Fressom Guardian is slated for Aug. 20- 31 and aimed at strengthening the readiness of forces of the two allies, according to the CFC.

"The exercise will be based on realistic scenarios and enable the two allies to train on their essential tasks with a whole of government," Gen. James D. Thurman, CFC commander said in a statement.

The CFC had informed the army of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) through its Panmunjom Mission of the dates and non-provocative natures of the exercise, the statement said, adding that Neutral Nations Supervisory commission observers would monitor the drill.

"Training exercises like Ulchi freedom Guardian are carried out in the spirit of the Oct. 1, 1953, ROK-U.S. Mutual Defense Treaty and in accordance with the armistice," the statement said, adding that the war games will also "highlight the longstanding military partnership, commitment and enduring friendship" between the two allies.

According to Seoul's Yonhap News Agency, the computer-aided exercises will mobilize some 56,000 South Korean troops and about 30,000 U.S. soldiers, including some 3,000 from the U.S. and other bases around the Pacific region. In addition, some 440,000 people from South Korean central and local authorities are expected to take part in counter-terrorism exercises and disaster prevention trainings.


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