July 27, 2020 13:18
Korea and the U.S. have agreed to conduct a drastically scaled-down joint exercise in mid-August.
The decision came because large numbers of American troops cannot be sent from the U.S. mainland due to the coronavirus epidemic.
However, the drill will include some training to see if Seoul is ready to take over full operational control of Korean troops in wartime.
The two countries will stage the summer joint exercise on a smaller scale than before, a government official here said on Sunday.
The two sides will focus on checking if the Korean military has the ability to exercise full operational control and whether American troops could rapidly be dispersed to combat areas in a war on the Korean Peninsula.
A follow-up exercise could be staged if circumstances permit because Seoul is worried about a possible delay in the handover now slated for 2022.
Originally, the U.S. military wanted to focus on sharpening the combat readiness of the U.S. Forces Korea, but Seoul pressed for the operational control training.
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