South Korea and the United States have announced on Tuesday that they plan to stage joint military drills on March 2.
South Korean Defense Ministry spokesman Kim Min-Seok made the announcement, adding that the Key Resolve drill will last until March 13, and the Foal Eagle drill will continue up to April 24.
Previously, the annual joint war games were held in February every year. Key Resolve is a week-long largely computer-simulated exercise that focuses on practicing command and control procedures, and Foal Eagle is an eight-week drill involving air, ground and naval field exercises, with around 200,000 Korean and 3,700 US troops, reports said.
“The whole course of Key Resolve and Foal Eagle is aimed to occupy (North Korea) through preemptive strikes,” the North’s ruling party newspaper Rodong Sinmun said in an editorial Tuesday.
By refusing to cancel this year’s exercises, Seoul and Washington had effectively “scuppered” any chance of resuming a dialogue with Pyongyang, the editorial said. “What remains to be done is to militarily react to the US while bolstering up war deterrence to the maximum,” it added.