U.S. and South Korea commence scaled-back joint military exercise
The United States (U.S.) and South Korea have announced the launch of a computer-simulated command post scaled-back joint military exercise amid the COVID-19 pandemic situation.
The ‘computer-simulated command post exercise’ is expected to take place over nine days in South Korea.
JCS stated that the U.S. and South Korea decided to move further with the drills after ‘comprehensively taking into consideration the COVID-19 pandemic situation, the maintenance of the combat readiness posture, the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula and the establishment of peace’.
The exercises will not include ‘outdoor manoeuvres’.
Furthermore, the number of participating troops and equipment has also been reduced because of the pandemic. All Covid-19 prevention measures, including wearing face masks and hand sanitising, will be followed during the training.
The military drills also provide a chance to assess South Korea’s readiness to take over wartime operational control (OPCON) within the term of the current administration, which ends in May next year.
A defence ministry official was quoted by Yonhap as saying: “The two sides have had close consultations on the matter and agreed to carry out the rehearsal this time, albeit limitedly, to make progress in the transition process.”
The exercises were initially expected to be held last year, but the two parties were not able to do so.