Postponement of Korea-U.S. Exercises Could Reduce Scale

  • By Jun Hyun-suk

    January 08, 2018 11:52

    Annual South Korea-U.S. drills will not be shortened now that they are being postponed until after the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, the military here insisted Friday.

    The schedules of other joint exercises will also likely be affected. But there may be some adjustments to scale and procedure. "Normally, U.S. military officials arrive here ahead of drills to make preparations," a military officer here said. "But it seems there will be a snag in their schedules this year."

    The U.S. is carrying out joint drills not only with South Korea but with Australia, the Philippines, and Thailand, so the ones here could be scaled back to conduct the other exercises on a normal scale. There could also be obstacles to the participation of a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier and other high-end U.S. weaponry.

    Moon Chung-in, President Moon Jae-in's special security adviser, said "The joint drills could be scaled back by circumstances even if it isn't done intentionally."

    In a statement last week, the South Korea-U.S. Combined Forces Command said the two countries will "work together to determine the actual dates of the exercises."

    The exercises are normally conducted in March and April, but will likely kick off in late April this year. The "Key Resolve" drill is a command post exercise using computer-based simulations, while the "Foal Eagle" drill is a field training exercise mobilizing troops and equipment. They normally take about two months.

    Last year, Key Resolve ran from March 13-24 and Foal Eagle from March 1 until April 30. This year the Paralympics end on March 18, so the drills will have to wait until after that.

    The postponement is expected to cause a domino effect on other joint South Korea-U.S. exercises.

    • Copyright © Chosunilbo &
    Previous Next
    All Headlines Back to Top