Published: 09:35, August 16, 2022 | Updated: 11:16, August 17, 2022
ROK, US to launch preliminary drills ahead of major exercise
By Reuters

In this photo provided by the Republic of Korea's defense ministry, fighter jets of the US and the ROK's air forces fly in formation during a joint drill on June 7, 2022. (PHOTO / ROK DEFENSE MINISTRY VIA AP)

SEOUL / WASHINGTON - The combined forces of the Republic of Korea and the United States planned to launch four-day preliminary drills on Tuesday ahead of their major combined exercise set to begin next week, according to Yonhap news agency.

The ROK-led crisis management drills would be conducted from Tuesday to Friday, aimed at practicing procedures to respond to possible pre-war crisis scenarios.

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea has denounced the exercise as a dress rehearsal for northward invasion

The preparatory drills would be conducted in the run-up to the Ulchi Freedom Shield (UFS) exercise, a newly-named summertime military exercise between the two allies involving field maneuvers.

ROK's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said in a statement on Tuesday that the UFS exercise, which is defensive in nature as it has been annually staged, would last from Aug 22 to Sept 1.

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea has denounced the exercise as a dress rehearsal for northward invasion.

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The JCS noted that the UFS exercise would involve field maneuvers to ensure the condition of a stable push for the transition of wartime operational control through the assessment of the full operational capability.

ROK and the United States have agreed upon the conditions-based transfer of wartime operational control over ROK troops from Washington to Seoul.

ROK's wartime command was handed over to the US-led UN command after the 1950-53 Korean War broke out. ROK won back its peacetime operational control in 1994. 

Meanwhile, the US, the ROK and Japan participated in a missile warning and ballistic missile search and tracking exercise off Hawaii's coast last week, the Pentagon said on Monday.

The exercise took place Aug 8-14, and demonstrated the three countries' commitment to respond to challenges posed by the DPRK, protect shared security and bolster the rules-based international order, the Pentagon said in a statement.

With inputs from Reuters