The United States continues strengthening its alliance with South Korea by resuming annual joint military drills, despite North Korea’s warnings, as previously reported here at SOFREP. 

After a long suspension due to the COVID-19 pandemic, South Korea and the US will resume their live field training next month during their annual summertime joint military exercise.

According to Seoul’s defense ministry, the allied nations intend to conduct 11 joint live field exercises this summer to increase deterrence against Pyongyang and curb the North’s evolving nuclear and missile programs.

South Korean Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup told reporters that they plan to “stage combined air carrier strike group training and drills for amphibious operations at an early date,” and that they aim to conduct more regiment-level or higher drills in the coming months.

The allies had scaled back in recent years with their military exercises, first in 2018, due to diplomatic efforts with the North. However, after South Korean President Yoon Suk-you took office in May, he vowed to continue these joint drills with the US to counter a record number of missile tests conducted by North Korea this year.

South Korea, US ready to retaliate against North

Pyongyang conducted its first launch of the Hwasong-17 ICBM in March, following a four-year moratorium in 2017.

“The new strategic weapon of the DPRK will clearly show the might of our strategic force to the whole world once again. This will be an occasion of confirming the modernity of our strategic force and confidence in the security of the state,” the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, said in March.