August 12, 2013 12:07
South Korea and the U.S. will conduct an annual joint military exercise dubbed "Ulchi Freedom Guardian" from Aug. 19 to 30, Combined Forces Command announced on Sunday.
They are defensive drills aimed at preparing for a full-scale invasion by North Korea and are based on computer-assisted simulations, with little actual movement of personnel or equipment.
Some 30,000 U.S. troops from the U.S. Forces Korea and U.S. mainland will join 50,000 South Korean troops from several Army corps, naval fleets, and air wings.
This year's drill will also be observed by Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, New Zealand, Norway and the U.K., which were part of the UN forces during the 1950-53 Korean War, the CFC added.
In the past, North Korea's state media vehemently denounced the Ulchi exercises every year, but so far the North has been silent since a report on the exercises on Jan. 21.
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