Tuesday Sep 11, 201205:27 PM GMT
Report: S. Korea, US practise occupying N. Korea
Tue Sep 11, 2012 5:25PM
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South Korean troops practiced a war scenario involving the occupation and stabilization of North Korea during a joint military drill with the United States last month, a report said on Tuesday.

 

The two allies, who staged a similar stabilization exercise in 2010, upgraded it to strengthen the role of the South Korean army in the event of an "emergency situation in the North", Dong-A Ilbo newspaper said.

 

It cited an unnamed senior government official, who said the maneuver - called Wind of Freedom - involved humanitarian assistance for North Koreans after occupying the communist state and restoring administrative services.

 

The exercise was part of the annual Ulchi Freedom Guardian drill held from 20-31 August and involving tens of thousands of South Korean and US troops.

 

The North has habitually condemned the drill as a provocative prelude to war.

 

The North responded angrily to the reported stabilization drill the same year, calling it "absolutely appalling" and accusing the South of trying to topple its regime. news24.com

 

FACTS & FIGURES

The two nations will stage a similar drill during an annual Key Resolve joint drill to be held early next year. channelnewsasia.com

 

Tensions have been high for more than a year, since the South accused the North of torpedoing the Cheonan warship near the disputed Yellow Sea border in March 2010, with the loss of 46 lives. AFP

 

In 2010, Walter Sharp, the then commander of the 28,500 US troops stationed in the South, said the two allies needed to hold "realistic exercises" for "anything that could happen in Korea" including stability operations. news24.com

 

South Korea will spend $2.3 billion dollars ($2.83 billion) over the next five years to secure tactical weapons targeting North Korea's nuclear weapons facilities and missile bases, a state agency said Tuesday. asiaone.com

 

The two Koreas have remained technically at war since the Korean War ended in 1953 with a truce rather than a peace treaty.  AFP

 

AN/DB

 

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