U.S., South Korea put on massive military drill
A South Korean helicopter attacks an "enemy" target during a live-fire exercise Friday south of the Demilitarized Zone.
June 22nd, 2012
10:12 AM ET

U.S., South Korea put on massive military drill

U.S. and South Korean forces on Friday conducted what they called their largest live-fire military exercise since the end of the Korean War, according to reports from South Korea.

More than 2,000 troops plus fighter jets, helicopters and armor from both nations participated in the hourlong exercise, conducted as about 4,000 spectators looked on, according to a report from Stars and Stripes.

The exercise took place in Pocheon, about 20 miles (32 kilometers) southeast of the Demilitarized Zone that marks the border between North and South Korea.

Enemy territory during the exercise was marked by a large North Korean flag unfurled on a hillside, according to the report. After it was obscured by smoke during the U.S. and South Korean attacks, the North Korean flag was replaced by one from the South to signal victory.

"We train together to ensure we are ready to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our (South Korean) army partners if called upon,” said Lt. Col. Joe Scrocca, a spokesman for the U.S. Army's 2nd Infantry Division. “We are a more lethal force together than we would ever be separate.”

Meanwhile, the U.S. aircraft carrier George Washington was to lead a large naval drill off South Korea beginning Saturday, according to a report from the Yonhap News Agency. About 8,000 military personnel, along with about 10 ships and submarines, were to participate.

"Throughout the joint military exercises, South Korean and U.S. forces will show off their resolute capabilities," Yonhap quoted South Korean Navy Brig. Gen. Park Seong-bae as saying.

He warned North Korea not to react in a hostile manner.

"We will immediately retaliate against any provocations from North Korea," Yonhap quoted the general as saying.

The North reacted angrily after naval drills this week between U.S., South Korean and Japanese forces.

"The dangerous moves to knock into shape the triangular military nexus is an act going against the trend of the times for regional peace and stability, including on the Korean Peninsula," read a piece in the ruling party newspaper Rodong Sinmun, according to Yonhap.

"Dark clouds of a new war are thus hanging heavily in Northeast Asia, including the peninsula," the newspaper said, according to Yonhap.

And before that North Korea's official state media Korean Central News Agency called the exercises provocations.

"Even the slightest provocation on the peninsula may promptly lead to an all-out nuclear war between both sides and a regional war because it is the region where the world's biggest military forces including nukes are concentrated and there is neither lasting mechanism nor guarantee for averting a war," the North Korean agency said.

Tension in the Korean peninsula has escalated since North Korea's shelling of a South Korean island in 2010, which killed four, and sinking of a South Korea warship that killed 46 sailors in a torpedo attack blamed on the North. The North has denied it was behind the attack.

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Filed under: Military • North Korea • South Korea
soundoff (167 Responses)
  1. bam

    and the GOP blamed Obama for ruining the environment there

    June 22, 2012 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Jason

      They care about the environment?

      June 22, 2012 at 11:11 am | Report abuse |
  2. doug

    like this is a surprise to NK ? they have been doing this since before I was there in 1978. NK can set their clocks by it. provocation indeed. Shelling an island and killing people like NK did is provocation. Tunneling into the south like NK does is a provocation.

    June 22, 2012 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
    • 33VMUH

      You're absolutely right. And don't forget sinking a ship with great loss of life. The North wouldn't know "regional peace and stability" if it hit them in the face.

      June 22, 2012 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
  3. mikrik13

    The deal with the flags. Unnecessary and provocative.

    June 22, 2012 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
    • bam

      kind of liek NK live bombing the SK island and killing a peeps

      June 22, 2012 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
  4. comingsoon

    the global 1% needs boogiemen to rule 99%. it has worked perfectly so far, in Korea and everywhere else.

    June 22, 2012 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
  5. keb carerra

    Changing the flag in the smoke is laughable . I guess the reunification plan will be something like Germany annexing Poland in WW11 only this time the smoke will be radioactive , but rest assured combat veterans the victory belongs to those with Jesus on their side.

    June 22, 2012 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
    • AK

      some pointers, WW11 is world war eleven, WWII is world war two.
      The thought that NK would blow up a nuclear weapon on Korean soil is also laughable. Foreigners don't understand, we're still brothers.

      June 22, 2012 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Zaechariah

      Just like the Nazis had Jesus on their side?

      June 22, 2012 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Argonaut0

      "WW11"? Experts believe we won't last past WW3. I wonder how the next eight World Wars will play out. Would Germany and Poland still be around for annexation?

      June 22, 2012 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
  6. comingsoon

    the global 1% can't make enough money in the peace time.

    June 22, 2012 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
  7. Ev

    These NK war threats are really irritating. They are just itching for a war.I think the flag tagets were a good idea. The US and SK cant go around with our tails between our legs. NK doesnt stand a chance. We need to silence them.

    June 22, 2012 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
  8. justathought

    Maybe this was less costly than making a movie like Pvt Benjamin.

    June 22, 2012 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
  9. rad666

    Sure glad America has spare money to play war games.

    June 22, 2012 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
    • Diana R

      Rad: We don't "play war games". We prepare for war, which is not unlikely with a violent and unpredictable adversary like North Korea 40 miles from Seoul. We prepare for war so that if it happens we can win that war, and win it in a way that minimizes the number of body bags that will be shipped back across the Pacific Ocean.

      June 22, 2012 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
  10. saywhat

    @Ev
    sure. Missiles raining on cities do result in 'silence'.
    And of course we have long since silenced the Iraqis and Afghans.

    June 22, 2012 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
    • Ev

      yea seriously and Iran has since shut up, correct? Too bad Seoul is right by the border. If Seoul was closer to Busan I think we would be in a different situation. NK would worry about its famished country. Maybe raise those rabbits to eat.

      June 22, 2012 at 11:11 am | Report abuse |
  11. Thelma Lou Brickmore

    Quit imitating me. I may be southern, but you can quit making fun of me now. Abuse has been hit again!

    June 22, 2012 at 11:11 am | Report abuse |
    • DaveYoung

      What`s a "grit" ?

      June 27, 2012 at 9:45 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Portland tony

    Kinda stupid! Real combined Military exercises take place over days, not for an hour with spectators watching from grandstands. Who pays for these Airshows? NK knows what we could do in an offensive operation. Video of our initial attack on Bagdad is available on line!

    June 22, 2012 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
    • saywhat

      @Portland tony
      Yes that is correct, they know. But alas they also have seen us struggling for the past 11 years in Iraq & Afghanistan

      June 22, 2012 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
  13. MIke

    "...all out nuclear war..."

    Hahahaha, I'm sorry, NK, but your one solitary half-built nuke against the 10,000 combined nukes of the U.S. and SK would not add up to be an all out nuclear war.

    Actually, maybe it would, there would just not be any North Koreans still around to witness it.

    June 22, 2012 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
  14. BJNJ

    NK is an infected pimple on the anus of society. The US would squash them like the irritating insect they are. Convert NK into a crater and watch that fat little imp waddle away!...The sad thing is these underachievers believe their own bellowing. BJNJ

    June 22, 2012 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
  15. SPQR

    Just a message to China.

    North Korea is China's lapdog, that China uses to cause strees on the rest of the world.

    North Korea would not exisit if it wasn't for China today and North Korea would have not lastest 1 week during the Korean War without China either.

    June 22, 2012 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
    • 33VMUH

      North Korea is a puppet state of the Peoples Republic of China. The PRC is an imperialist power that uses its colony of North Korea as a buffer between itself and the western world, much like the British used their colonies of Pakistan and Afghanistan as buffer between their crown jewel of India and the ever expanding Russian Empire back in the late 19th Century. Since the PRC is directly responsible for the continued maintenance of North Korea starting with their intervention in the Korean War up to today, the PRC should be required to pay the entire cost of bringing that country up to modern standards when North Korea finally falls.

      June 22, 2012 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
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