August 12, 2020 11:06
Korea and the U.S. begin a two-week scaled-down summer drill on Sunday, a government spokesman said on Tuesday.
A preliminary crisis management staff training exercise started Tuesday.
It will be a computer-simulated command post exercise that does not involve large numbers of troops. The coronavirus epidemic has reduced the scale because it is difficult for American personnel to travel to Korea.
Part of its purpose is to assess whether Korea is ready to take over full operational control of troops in wartime, so it will be staged under a new joint command structure led by a Korean general.
Korea wants to take over full troop control by 2022, but that may now be difficult due to the restrictions imposed by the epidemic.
The assessment is conducted in three phases, and the third could be delayed by another year if the full second-stage assessment cannot be carried out this year.
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