South Korea-US military drill starts as North'S warnings

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  1. SajeevJino

    SajeevJino Long walk Elite Member

    Feb 21, 2012
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    South Korea-US military drill starts as North rejects armistice with South

    South Korea and the United States launched joint drills on Monday involving thousands of troops, defying North Korea’s apocalyptic threats to repudiate the 60-year-old Korean War armistice in retaliation.

    The start of the two-week “Key Resolve” exercise follows a week of escalating tensions on the Korean peninsula, with North Korea lashing out over tightened United Nations (UN) sanctions adopted after its third nuclear test last month.

    “Key Resolve” is an annual, largely computer-simulated exercise, but still involves the mobilization of over 10,000 South Korean and 3,500 US military personnel. About 28,500 US troops are stationed in South Korea.

    “This year is particularly important, because it is the first time the [South Korean] Joint Chiefs of Staff have planned and executed this combined exercise,” said US General James Thurman, head of the Combined Forces Command.

    Pyongyang has condemned the joint maneuvers as a provocative invasion rehearsal and announced that effective on Monday, it was scrapping the 1953 armistice ending the Korean War and voiding peace pacts signed with the South.

    The South’s Unification Ministry confirmed that the North appeared to have carried through on another promise to cut the hotline between Pyongyang and Seoul.

    The two sides habitually speak twice a day, but “the North did not answer our call this morning,” a spokesman for the South’s Unification Ministry said.

    The hotline was installed in 1971 and the North has severed it on five occasions in the past most recently in 2010.
    The Rodong Sinmun, the newspaper of the North’s ruling communist party, confirmed in Monday’s edition the “complete end” of the armistice which halted the 1950-53 Korean War hostilities.

    As the war concluded with a military armistice rather than a peace treaty, the two Koreas remain technically at war.

    Sabre-rattling and displays of brinkmanship are nothing new in the region, but there are concerns that the current situation is so volatile that just one accidental step could escalate into serious confrontation and conflict.

    South Korea-US military drill starts as North rejects armistice with South

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