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. Army Brat

    China has way more business with the west than it has with NK, and would hate to loose that over what they consider as a brat cousin that will not stop trying to pick a fight with the big boys. Keeping your population working is more important to them than this small spit of land. NK has a million man army (starving) with real old equipment and almost no airforce. I say we provoke them into starting a war and finish what we should have 60 years ago. Then give the country to China to fix. China just does not want SK to be on their border and that would solve it. If we had that arrangement with China thay would have hung NK out to dry a long time ago.

    June 22, 2012 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeffq

      why would we win a war, and then not benefit from their natural resources or cheap labor. Sounds stupid to just allow China free reign over the Norths goodies. Thats basically what we've done in Afghanistan by allowing the Chinese to swoop in and win their bids to dig all the copper and minerals from their mountains. I'm betting Obama would not be so stupid to do that twice.

      June 22, 2012 at 5:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hillary for President

      None of this danger will precipitate. The smartest woman ever, Hillary, is working on it. Look at her success with getting Russia to stop sending weapons to Syria and preventing the Islamic Brotherhood from seizing Egypt. She's a genius.

      What's that, you say? She has accomplished nothing as Secretary of State? Don't annoy me with details.

      June 22, 2012 at 6:47 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Jeffq

    how much does it cost to have a drill with south korea involving tens of thousands of soldiers both on land, see and air, EVERY 2 MONTHS!!!! This is only my uneducated guess, but I'm thinking its in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

    June 22, 2012 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • HarvardScholar

      Hundreds of millions of dollars is nothing when considering this kind of military exercise. This is probably costing American tax payers around 2-5 Billion dollars.

      June 22, 2012 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Reflecto

      Since it cost you nothing, why do you care?

      This firepower demo (not a "drill") involved only 2000 troops. A massive drill might involve the 160,000 or so soldiers they use during Ulchi Freedom Guardian. This is nothing. It was a PR stunt, not a war game

      June 22, 2012 at 9:58 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Zoglet

    Remember guys, its only provocation when the other guys do it!
    lmfao- hypocracy in action yet again!

    June 22, 2012 at 5:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeremy

      It's not provocation when either side conducts a drill. It is when the North sinks a ship or shells an island though. Come over and get stationed with me 20 miles from the DMZ and see if you become a little less critical of the good guys and a little more critical of the North Koreans.

      June 22, 2012 at 9:41 pm | Report abuse |
  4. hahaha

    large land armies and few/old aircraft and artilery wouldnt get you very far after the US knocked out your nuke capabilities. a large land army would be slaughtered from the air these days.

    June 22, 2012 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • gregingso

      That is accurate but doesn't change the fact that North Korea can lob enough artillery shells into the south to level all of South Korea. It's something that South Korea has to worry about and cannot really defend against, there is no such thing as an anti-artillery missile.

      June 22, 2012 at 6:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ronaldo

      It's thirty miles from the border – the 38th parallel – to Seoul. No aircraft will get them all. If they get half that distance with tube artillery they'll be in range and it'll be a slaughterfest. The north has burrowed tunnels at least halfway, for armored vehicles. Who can guess how many tunnels for those angry ninja commandos exist. Yes, you need oil to sustain an armored advance and the North has none. They'll lose in a month or so, but it will be a very bloody month.

      June 22, 2012 at 6:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeremy

      Gregingso... The North Koreans can barely get the coordinates correct for their artillery. Trust me. I'm stationed in SK and the North Koreans are completely inept. They could not level South Korea.

      June 22, 2012 at 9:43 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Tee Bee Esse

    "Even the slightest provocation on the peninsula may promptly lead to an all-out nuclear war..." it's just another hot summer day here in South Korea 🙂

    June 22, 2012 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |
  6. jb

    Good we can finally rid ourselves of N.Korea for good.

    June 22, 2012 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • mickey1313

      And by proxy china. We have anti missile tech, they do not. We can pop their nukes before they even leave their launch tubes, and then return fire laying waste to bejing

      June 23, 2012 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Gary Sea

    North Korea actions reminds me of a story wherein a giant was constantly being harassed by na arrogant hornet that occassionally would sting him in the foot. But the giant tolerated it because others around him said that since he was so huge, it would be unthinkable to harm the hornet. So the giant did his best to tolerate the pest. Then one day, the hornet manged to sting one of the giant's testicles. The giant reacted immediately by crushing the hornet into nothingness. He did that not because the pain and damage was great (because they weren't); rather, because he finally got so fed up with the persistant interruption in his life that he stopped caring what others thought and just ended the BS once and for all.

    June 22, 2012 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      A very good, apt analogy.

      June 22, 2012 at 7:38 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Trigger

    There are few joys in life greater than acquiring a cluster of dismounts all within burst radius of a hellfire and pulling the trigger. Ahhh... life is good.

    June 22, 2012 at 6:53 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Digby Geen

    Exercises are needed to keep the military in good condition.
    They will not be costing much more than if the guys stayed in their barracks.

    Seoul is very close to the border.
    The South needs to be vigilant.

    June 22, 2012 at 7:38 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Philip

    I guess none here are aware of Hiilary's part in the Whitewater land scam. (shrug)
    You DID know that Bill had to use makeop to cover the bruise on his face after hillary smacked him upside the head with her cellphone, right?. (when the Monica affair went from private to public)

    June 22, 2012 at 8:11 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Hillary Quiz

    How old was Hillary's future husband when the CIA recruited him. (hint: George HW Bush was head of the CIA at the time)

    June 22, 2012 at 8:15 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Andy

    oh yay!! just what everybody wants. put the young men on the bus and strap on their guns its time to go to korea!

    this war is brought to you in part by coca-cola.

    June 22, 2012 at 8:19 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Hillary Quiz (5 pt. bonus question)

    Bill Clinton would be employed by HW Bush again after he was done making Arkansas the poorest per capita peoples in our entire country. Name that tune.
    (or just whistle "Worked for Bush-Zapata borkering oil deals whereby Ja pan would buy Bushco Kuwait oil RATHER than OPEC contract Iraqi oil. (recall Iraqis setting Bushco oilwells in Kuwait ablaze two years later, after having complained to the UN THE ENTIRE TIME)

    June 22, 2012 at 8:23 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Philip

    Coca-Cola is global, legally. The invaders of other nations around the globe are as well, but not legally as well.
    Recall the many arguments among government leaders regarding the legality of certain of "wars". (war on terror, on iraqis, on the government of afghanistan, for examples)
    Sure, there must have been arguments over what nation get's Coca-Cola, but no national treasuries or battalions of soldiers were wiped out. Maybe one innocent civilian lost-out on a Coca-Cola exec. grabbing his cab. Collateral damages my ass.

    June 22, 2012 at 8:40 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Toulouse-Lautrec

    Looks like the high tide is in again.

    June 22, 2012 at 8:55 pm | Report abuse |
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