Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
The US Is Cutting Back The Exercise That Always Pisses Off North Korea
The U.S. and South Korea announced Tuesday that a toned-down version of annual joint military drills would begin April 1 amid a potentially monumental thaw in ties with nuclear-armed North Korea that could see the allies’ two leaders hold separate summits with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un.
The main Foal Eagle field exercise, which usually lasts two months, is scheduled to begin April 1 and last for a month, while the computer-simulated Key Resolve tabletop drills will be held for two weeks starting in mid-April, a South Korean military official was quoted as saying.
The joint drills had been postponed for the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.
The large-scale exercises have long been a source of tension between the two Koreas, with Pyongyang condemning them as rehearsals for invasion.
It was unclear if the U.S. would dispatch B-1B heavy bombers, nuclear-powered submarines or aircraft carriers to the drills, but media reports citing a South Korean Defense Ministry official said that there are no immediate plans to do so. The United States has sent such assets during past drills when tensions ran high.
The Pentagon said in a short statement earlier that U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and his South Korean counterpart, Song Young-moo, had agreed to go forward with the exercises “at a scale similar to that of previous years.”
It said North Korea’s military had been notified of the “defensive nature” of the drills.
Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Christopher Logan said approximately 12,200 U.S. troops and 10,000 South Korean military personnel would participate in the Key Resolve exercise, while some 11,500 U.S. troops and 290,000 South Korean forces would join the Foal Eagle drills.
Previous years’ exercises also reportedly involved special forces training for so-called decapitation strikes aimed at eradicating the North’s leadership.
Asked if that training would continue, Logan refused comment.
“To avoid compromising exercise objectives, specifics regarding the exercise scenarios will not be discussed,” he said.
However, he stressed that the exercises are “defense-oriented and there is no reason for North Korea to view them as a provocation.”
Logan also said that the exercises “are not conducted in response to any DPRK provocations or the current political situation on the peninsula.” DPRK is the acronym for the North’s formal name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
©2018 the Japan Times (Tokyo). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
Military veterans from throughout Northeast Florida came together Saturday morning to honor comrades in arms who were prisoners of war or missing in action, and remember their sacrifice.
After the plane landed, Pope Army Airfield was silent on Saturday.
A chaplain prayed and a family member sobbed.
Tarah McLaughlin's fingers traced her husband's flag-draped coffin before she pressed two fingers to her lips then pressed her fingers to the coffin.
The remains of Staff Sgt. Ian McLaughlin, 29, of Newport News, Virginia, arrived back to Fort Bragg a week after he was killed Jan. 11 by an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan.
Pfc. Miguel Angel Villalon, 21, of Joliet, Illinois, also was killed in the same incident.
The U.S. Space Force has a name tape for uniforms now. Get excited people.
In a tweet from its official account, the Space Force said its uniform name tapes have "touched down in the Pentagon," sharing a photo of it on the chest of Gen. John W. Raymond, the newly-minted Chief of Space Operations for the new service branch nested in the Department of the Air Force.
PALM BEACH, Fla. (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump gave a minute-to-minute account of the U.S. drone strikes that killed Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani in remarks to a Republican fund-raising dinner on Friday night, according to audio obtained by CNN.
With his typical dramatic flourish, Trump recounted the scene as he monitored the strikes from the White House Situation Room when Soleimani was killed.
The U.S. Navy will name its fourth Ford-class aircraft carrier after Doris Miller, an iconic World War II sailor recognized for his heroism during the Pearl Harbor attack, according to reports in The Honolulu Star-Advertiser and U.S. Naval Institute News.
Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly is expected to announce the naming of CVN-81 during a ceremony on Monday in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, according to USNI. Two of Miller's nieces are expected to be there, according to the Star-Advertiser.