The United States and South Korea start annual military exercises. the Ulichi Freedom Guardian Exercise will run to September 2, and involve about 75,000 troops, including 25,000 from the U.S. side. As the countries opened the command and control exercise earlier in the day, they told North Korea of the drill’s schedule and its non-offensive nature through a communication channel in the inter-Korean truce village of Panmunjeom.
Training exercises like UFG are carried out in the spirit of the Oct. 1, 1953, ROK-U.S. Mutual Defense Treaty and in accordance with the Armistice,” the CFC said in a statement. “These exercises also highlight the longstanding military partnership, commitment and enduring friendship between the two nations, help to ensure peace and security on the peninsula, and reaffirm the U.S. commitment to the Alliance.
As the exercise begins, North Korea threatens a pre-emptive nuclear attack on the allies.
[South Korea and the U.S.] should bear in mind that if they show the slightest sign of aggression on (DPRK’s) inviolable land, seas and air …, it would turn the stronghold of provocation into a heap of ashes through Korean-style preemptive nuclear strike.