Daily News

4. US-S.Korea drills to start April 1st

South Korea's Defense Ministry says the country and the United States will begin joint military exercises on April 1st.

A ministry spokesperson said on Tuesday that the scale of the annual drills will be the same as usual.

The official also said the United Nations Command in the South notified North Korea's military on Tuesday morning, citing defense purposes.

The exercises usually begin in February or March, but were postponed this year for the PyeongChang Olympic and Paralympic Games.

South Korean military officials say about 290,000 South Korean troops and around 11,500 US service members will take part in the Foal Eagle drill, which includes massive field operations. They say about 10,000 South Korean troops and around 12,200 US service members will join a computer-simulated exercise called Key Resolve.

They also say the period of the drills will be halved to about one month, and that there are currently no plans to deploy US aircraft carriers or bombers to the exercises.

North Korea strongly opposes the drills, but its leader Kim Jong Un reportedly softened his tone when he met a South Korean envoy this month.

The schedule of the drills may have been adjusted because of inter-Korean talks planned for late April, and a possible summit between the North and the US by the end of May.