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ROK, U.S. announce largest field exercises in 5 years

The Associated Press

Republic of Korea (ROK) and United States forces are holding their biggest joint field exercises in five years in March 2023. The announcement came as the U.S. flew a long-range B-1B bomber to the Korean Peninsula in a show of support for South Korea. (Pictured: Col. Isaac Taylor, left, of the United Nations Command, Combined Forces Command, and U.S. Forces Korea, and Col. Lee Sung-jun of ROK’s Joint Chiefs of Staff attend a news briefing on exercise Freedom Shield in Seoul, South Korea, in March 2023.)

North Korea has threatened to take “unprecedently” strong action against such exercises. It’s likely that it will respond to the upcoming training with missile tests.

ROK and U.S. military officials said the Freedom Shield exercise, a computer-simulated command post training, strengthens their defense and response capabilities, along with separate large-scale joint field training exercises called Warrior Shield FTX.

Col. Isaac L. Taylor, with the United Nations Command, Combined Forces Command, and U.S. Forces Korea, said the field training will include a combined amphibious drill. The size of the demonstrations will return to the scale of the allies’ earlier biggest springtime field exercises called Foal Eagle, he said.

The two countries last conducted Foal Eagle in 2018 but have again expanded joint military exercises amid nuclear provocations by North Korea.

In January 2023, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said the U.S. would continue to increase its deployment of advanced weapons such as fighter jets and bombers to the Korean Peninsula.


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