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31 July


Military exercises in South Korea suspended

There will be new exercises together with the United States

Photo: Yonhap

/NOVOSTIVL/ South Korea is planning to launch a new civilian-military exercise named "Ulchi Taegeuk" in late May, in a move to replace the South Korea-U.S. joint drill Ulchi Freedom Guardian (UFG), according to an official at the Ministry of National Defense, Wednesday. This article appeared in The Korea Times.

This came after the allies kicked off a downsized joint exercise named "Dong Maeng," after suspending their springtime Key Resolve and Foal Eagle exercises, which U.S. President Donald Trump branded as a "waste of money." The downsized drill will run until March 12.

Ulchi Taegeuk is scheduled to take place from May 27 to 30. It combines the South Korean military's independent Taegeuk command post exercise in May and the South Korea-led Ulchi government exercise in August, part of the UFG.

The UFG, a large-scale joint drill that involves about 480,000 people from around 4,000 government and public organizations across the country, is expected to be abolished. It is usually held in August.

Seoul and Washington could set up a separate combined command post exercise in August if the UFG is abolished, giving Seoul an opportunity to verify its initial operational capability required to retake wartime operational control (OPCON). The two sides have been pushing for a "conditions-based" OPCON transfer, which include South Korea's full operational and mission capabilities.