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South Korea, U.S. Armies Announced Their Largest Field Exercise In 5 Years

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(CTN NEWS) – SEOUL – As a show of force against North Korea, the United States sent a long-range B-1B bomber to the Korean Peninsula on Friday.

The South Korean and American armies then announced that their largest combined field exercises in five years would take place later this month.

The North has promised to retaliate against such exercises with “unprecedently” severe measures. It is expected to conduct missile tests in response to the impending training since it sees it as a practice invasion.

The South Korean and US forces announced they would conduct separate, sizable joint field training exercises named Warrior Shield FTX and the Freedom Shield exercise.

From March 13 to 23, a computer-simulated command post training to improve their defensive and reaction capabilities.

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(South Korea Defense Ministry via AP)

The field training will feature a combined amphibious practice, according to Col. Isaac L. Taylor, a spokesman for the U.S. military, and it will be on par with the size of the allies’ previous largest springtime field exercises, known as Foal Eagle.

The two nations last conducted Foal Eagle in 2018. Then, to support the now-stalled negotiations with North Korea and to be prepared for the COVID-19 pandemic, several joint exercises were canceled or scaled back.

Yet, the two nations have recently increased their combined military drills in response to a changing nuclear threat from North Korea.

The first B-1B deployment by the United States since February 19 occurred on Friday during a combined aerial exercise with South Korean airplanes.

The deployment of B-1Bs, which are equipped to carry massive conventional weapons payloads, is extremely sensitive to North Korea.

Iran replied by test-launching two short-range missiles the following day in response to earlier flights of many B-1Bs.

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Col. Lee Sung-jun of South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff attends the Freedom Shield Exercise press briefing at the Defense Ministry Friday, March 3, 2023, in Seoul, South Korea. (Chung Sung-Jun/Pool Photo via AP)

According to South Korea’s Defense Ministry, using a B-1B showed that the United States was willing and able to defend its allies with all its military resources, including nuclear weapons.

The most ever in a single year, North Korea tested more than 70 missiles last year. This year, they have tested numerous more.

Several missiles were nuclear-capable weaponry intended to attack South Korea and the US mainland.

Moreover, North Korea has threatened to utilize its nuclear arsenal first in any future battles with the US and South Korea.

The use of nuclear weapons “will result at the end of that regime,” according to a warning from the U.S. military.

In January, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin declared that the United States would boost the number of fighter fighters and bombers it sent to the Korean Peninsula.

Last month, the U.S. and South Korea were warned that if they conduct military exercises this year that the North views as “preparations for an aggressive war,” they will be met with “unprecedentedly persistent and strong counteractions.”

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Col. Isaac Taylor, of the United Nations Command (UNC), Combined Forces Command (CFC), and United States Forces Korea (USFK) attends the press briefing of the Freedom Shield Exercise at the Defense Ministry Friday, March 3, 2023 in Seoul, South Korea. (Chung Sung-Jun/Pool Photo via AP)

Subsequently, senior North Korean foreign ministry official Kwon Jong Gun stated that the United States must abandon its plans to station strategic assets in South Korea and cease joint drills with the South to ease military tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

According to him, it might be considered a declaration of war if the United States continues its “hostile and provocative activities” towards North Korea.

Similar terminology has been used by North Korea in the past when it was hostile toward the United States and South Korea.

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