USA scales back deployment to Korea for drills

Strategic assets of the US military, including an aircraft carrier and a nuclear-powered submarine, may not be deployed during the upcoming joint exercises on the Korean peninsula.

USA and South Korean military units will begin the annual Ulchi Freedom Guardian exercise Monday, the Defense Department announced today.

"All South Koreans have worked so hard together to rebuild the country from the ruins of the Korean War", Mr Moon told a press conference on Thursday marking his first 100 days in office.

Pyongyang has said it was considering plans to fire missiles over Japan towards the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam, although North Korean leader Kim Jong Un appears to have delayed the decision.

The drill is an annual exercise set to begin on Monday.

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In a brief statement issued Friday, the North Korean state-run Korean Central News Agency declared the drills would "further drive the situation on the Korean Peninsula into a catastrophe".

Jeong, who will become the second Air Force officer to take the highest active-duty post if he receives a parliamentary nod, said South Korea will not seek to bring back U.S. tactical nuclear weapons, which Washington withdrew from the Korean Peninsula in 1991.

The July 15 article "N. Korea Softens Tone, Says U.S. Can Avoid Crisis" [World & Nation] mentions the upcoming annual defensive military drills involving the U.S. and South Korea.

South Korea is banned from developing nukes on its own under the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty - which it signed in 1975. In 2014, during a different military exercise, the North fired Scud missiles in protest.

  • Megan Austin