US, SKorea kick off joint military exercises

SEOUL – South Korea and the United States kicked off their annual joint military exercises on Sunday after they were delayed by about a month for the Winter Olympics and to help create conditions for a resumption of talks between North and South Korea.

The Foal Eagle field exercise, which usually involves combined ground, air, naval and special operations troops, will continue for a month. The computer-simulated Key Resolve will be held for two weeks starting in mid-April.

A Pentagon spokesperson said in March the two joint drills would involve about 23,700 US troops and 300,000 South Korean forces. Military officials in Seoul have said the scale of the exercises would not go beyond those seen in previous years.

The Foal Eagle and Key Resolve exercises are usually held every year around March but they were postponed this year until after the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics and Paralympics, which started in February and ended last month.

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