South Korea-US drill begins, even as tensions ease with North
Seoul: South Korea launched a military drill on Monday with the United States against a simulated North Korean invasion, even as tensions between Seoul and Pyongyang eased after a series of breakthroughs.
Defence Ministry officials confirmed the exercise was underway from today.
Although the annual Ulchi Freedom Guardian drill is largely played out on computers, it involves more than 80,000 South Korean and US troops and has repeatedly been condemned by Pyongyang as a provocative war rehearsal.
This year, however, the criticism from the North has been relatively muted as both Koreas have focused on reopening a joint industrial zone that was closed in April at the height of a surge in military tensions on the divided peninsula.
After seven rounds of negotiations, the two rivals agreed last week on a framework for resuming operations at the Kaesong zone, which is an important hard currency earner for the impoverished North.
Building on that breakthrough, South Korean President Park Geun-Hye urged Pyongyang to "open its heart" and resume reunions -- suspended three years ago -- for families separated since the 1950-53 war.
The North yesterday agreed to hold talks on the issue and also proposed re-starting South Korean tours to its Mount Kumgang resort.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- Essel Group Chairman Dr Subhash Chandra honoured in Haryana
- Watch: PM Modi's 23rd edition of Mann ki Baat
- Vishal Dadlani apologises after tweet on Jain monk backfires
- Panel discussion on Vishal Dadlani's controversial tweet on Jain monk
- Panel discussion on Vishal Dadlani's controversial tweet on Jain monk - Part II
- Two criminals arrested; stolen motorcycle, arms recovered
- Congress not to project a CM candidate in Gujarat
- Ranveer Singh's rendition of 'Pardesi Pardesi' is so bad it is actually good! - Watch video
- Balochistan Assembly adopts resolution against PM Narendra Modi - Know details
- JNU rape case: Accused scholar Anmol Ratan suspended from university