South Korea and the USA have conducted a big military exercises on Monday involving hundreds of troops practicing a reaction to a hypothetical North Korean attack. The whole process was a computer simulation. This annual event, named Ulchi Freedom, runs until the end of August. According to the Korean defense ministry, the process is completely computerized and includes more than 50,000 soldiers from Korea and about 30,000 from the USA.
The training simulates the situation of a large-scale invasion by the army of North Korea including the possibility of them using a nuclear weapon. Seoul as well as Washington hopes the project will remain annual for a long time.
Not surprisingly, Pyongyang perceives Ulchi Freedom and the other American-South Korean exercises as a provocation and says that they are ready to answer. The Committee for the Peaceful Unification of North Korea noticed last week that military exercises, especially on such a large scale, are just another word for the “war declaration”. The Committee has also underlined that the whole exercise is, according to them, unnecessary and potentially dangerous as it can be viewed as an excuse for starting a real war.
The tension between the North and South were already at significant level after the story with North Korean landmines that, according to the South Korean authorities, exploded, causing severe injuries to the members of South Korean border guard. The Southern side took its revenge by renewing propaganda broadcasts near the border using loudspeakers which have previously stayed silent for years. As always, North Korean authorities reject any accusations and flatly deny their involvement in the whole mine situation.
According to the South Korean defense ministry, Ulchi Freedom exercises will devote a lot of attention to military intelligence and monitoring equipment to make sure the troops have all the necessary information. North Korea tries to do its best not to stay behind. While lacking in advanced technology, Korean People’s Army bolsters both its offensive and defensive capabilities, and is ready to compensate for its deficiencies with its nuclear weapons.