Coronavirus Thwarts Korea-U.S. Joint Drills

  • By Yang Seung-sik

    February 28, 2020 09:36

    The Korean and U.S. militaries on Thursday indefinitely postponed joint drills scheduled for the next month amid the rapid spread of coronavirus.

    The Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Korea-U.S. Combined Forces Command said, "In light of the [Korean] government's declaration of the highest alert level 'severe' on COVID-19, the [Korea]-U.S. alliance made the decision to postpone the combined command post training... until further notice."

    Originally, the two allies had planned to stage the two-week computer-simulation wargames on March 9.

    U.S. soldiers wear masks as they stand sentry at Camp Humphreys in Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi Province on Thursday. /Newsis

    The decision to cancel them came after a U.S. soldier here tested positive for the disease.

    "The containment efforts for COVID-19 and the safety of the [Korean] and U.S. service members were prioritized in making this decision," the announcement said.

    Meanwhile, five more Korean soldiers tested positive Thursday, pushing the total number of infections in the military to 25, according to the Defense Ministry. Two of the five were infected in barracks. As of Thursday, some 9,990 soldiers were in quarantine.

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