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. jorge washinsen

    Right now ,if the little whippersnapper capitulated who would foot the bill to feed the starving masses in North Korea?

    June 22, 2012 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Golanego

    Did we not just get on N. Korea's case for holding their own dirills? Black kettle says what? I dont like N Korea but how does this help the situation? That was a stupid move and those responsible need to be repremanded. Obama just lost my vote. (Yes I am an independant and things like this make me sway from one side to another)

    June 22, 2012 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Walken1

      Wow – because of this specific incident, President Obama lost your vote? More power to you. I guess you must either be voting for Ron Paul as a write-in candidate or some third-party candidate like the Green Party because you're certainly not going to get a softer reaction from Republicans. But why wait until now to change your vote or decide if you're against the current admin's military provocations. Did you miss the memo on the drone strikes in Africa, the Middle East and South Asia over the past 3 years?

      June 22, 2012 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • spynnal

      Independent also, but I see little issue here. For good or ill, we've been committed to the region for decades, and have far too much invested to walk away. The North escalated in '10, and have a new ruler. A show of strength without engagement is far more a deterrent than a provocation, despite the North's media spin.

      June 22, 2012 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Not a Scholar

      The two militaries, US and SK, often engage in exercises to 1. Show their cooperation and abilities to the NK who often make threats of war and 2. to sharpen their abilities in the event that NK decides to attack SK. If you have read any news of the NK military in the last few years they have sunk SK military vessels, exercised their military in SK waters and territory, and actually attacked and killed SK civilians in SK territory where they did not like SK military operations. I can clearly see the difference between the NK and SK exercises.

      June 22, 2012 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • RapidOne

      Lol he never had your vote, liar.

      June 22, 2012 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
  3. jorge washinsen

    Most wars in history have been started by someone smart enough to make his people believe they are under threat. WW2 and 9-11 are exceptions,We were attacked in each.

    June 22, 2012 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • AJ 876

      Yea they're called false flags. And 9/11 was one of them. It was clearly an inside job... but you just haven't looked into it as much as you should.

      June 22, 2012 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
  4. jorge washinsen

    South Korea ,with one of the best economies in the world let us needle them into practicing war when ,as far as I know ,not a round has been fired at them that worked.

    June 22, 2012 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
  5. jorge washinsen

    "I can not see why we can't just get along." quote from Rodney King. R.I.P

    June 22, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Anthony

    Considering the size of south korea's economy and the fact it's has about 2 1/2 the population of the north and the north is eating tree bark for breakfast. Why do we need to be involved in this?

    June 22, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      Because you are a war mongering country.

      June 22, 2012 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Monkey Business

    Oh the humanity.

    June 22, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Yakobi

    North Korea is a paper tiger, a little yappy dog whose bark is far worse than its bite.

    June 22, 2012 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
  9. goodegyptian

    Classified Note: The United States, Israel and South Korea are planning military strike against North Korea and Iran on the same time coming up this Summer before the U.S. election. If it is successful, it will bring massive votes for President Obama.

    June 22, 2012 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
  10. That Lovable Commentor

    Using the North Korean flag here doesn't exactly put anyone on a higher pedestal in this scenario.

    June 22, 2012 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
  11. HIDE BEHIND

    Excuse my interuptipn of serious discussion but is the target zone in picture the portion surrounded by a wall?
    If so, then I hope spectators are not viewing it from fight side, as the missle or rocket in pic trajectory is far wide of target.

    June 22, 2012 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • vahellbilly

      It's an optical illusion, due to the angle of the copter, missle and camera... If the pilot or WSO was that far off, I am sure they would be back in for training in a simulator or given desk-duties.

      June 22, 2012 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
  12. HIDE BEHIND

    Then again maybe its a new type missle,Curve Ball.
    It makes the enemy think its outside the strike xone so he just stans there and watches it.
    By the time he realizes his mistake he'll never hear the called strike and be out of the game.

    June 22, 2012 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
  13. rad666

    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. -------- It sure has worked well in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and soon Yemen and Syria.

    June 22, 2012 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
  14. rad666

    America has a bigger threat below its southern border. Let South Korea and the rest of the world take care of themselves.

    June 22, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • disgusting

      Forget that all the 9/11 hijackers came in through Canada. This statement is nothing but racist. The drug violence exists there because the US provides a market by insisting on the prohibition of drugs less harmful than tobacco while doing nothing to discourage or treat drug use other than putting all the drug users in a cell together and pretending they'll change.

      June 22, 2012 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Johnny

      I don't think you fully understand the importance of the U.S. presence in S. Korea.

      June 22, 2012 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse |
  15. ANGELA

    how much can we save if we avoid those drills? what a shame people do not understand that we are becoming slaves to governments. the ones we vote!

    June 22, 2012 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
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