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S. Korea, US to hold joint military exercises despite Pyongyang warnings

S. Korea, US to hold joint military exercises despite Pyongyang warnings

Seoul and Washington were to begin annual military exercises on Monday, defying warnings from Pyongyang that the war games will jeopardize nuclear negotiations between the US and North Korea, AFP reports.

The drills come after North Korea tested a series of short-range projectiles in recent days. Pyongyang called one of them a “solemn warning” to Seoul against pursuing the mainly computer-simulated drills with Washington.

The joint exercise is to verify capabilities for South Korean “envisioned retaking of wartime operational control is being prepared,” officials in Seoul told reporters.

The allies’ biggest annual drills, Foal Eagle and Key Resolve, which took place every spring and involved tens of thousands of troops, were replaced with a shorter ‘Dong Maeng’ or ‘Alliance’ exercise in March. The August drills were scaled down earlier this year, Yonhap reported.