February 11, 2015 10:02
South Korea and the U.S. on Wednesday start their annual "discussion-based tabletop exercise," a political and military response drill for a possible North Korean attack with weapons of mass destruction.
The peculiarly named exercise ends Friday, according to the Defense Ministry.
The drill aims at figuring out a response to the nuclear and missile threat from the North using the U.S. missile defense network and conventional precision weapons, as well as the U.S. nuclear umbrella.
It will be led for the first time by the Korea Institute for Defense Analyses, a think tank under the ministry, and is the fourth of its kind.
Meanwhile, the South Korean and U.S. marine corps are late next month staging the Double Dragon exercise, an annual landing drill, in Pohang and vicinity as part of larger maneuvers named Foal Eagle.
About 1,000 marines from the two countries, far fewer than last year's 7,500, will take part in this year's exercise -- a result of U.S. defense budget cuts.
A military source said the two allies have no intention of listening to North Korean protests against the annual exercises.
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