Press TV, Seoul
The United States and South Korea plan to conduct joint military exercises on the Korean Peninsula later this month. North Korea has warned the drills would harm inter-Korean relations, despite South Korea’s efforts to pursue engagement.
The joint US-South Korea military exercises have long been a source of friction as Pyongyang views the drills as a rehearsal for invasion, ultimately aimed at regime change.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in has staked his legacy on generating peace with North Korea, but must balance those efforts with his US ally’s priority of pressuring North Korea into relinquishing its nuclear program.
The joint US-South Korea military exercises area a contentious issue even within South Korea’s ruling party. A significant portion of vocal democratic party lawmakers suggest the drills should be postponed in light of the recent reconnection of hotline communications, and in an effort to improve relations with North Korea.
The exact scope and scale of the drills which will likely be computer simulated war games is still to be decided between the US and South Korea.