Aug 22, 2022 - World

U.S. and South Korea begin biggest military drills in 5 years

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol waves a national flag during the celebration of the 77th National Liberation Day at Presidential House on August 15 in Seoul.

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol waving a national flag in Seoul on Aug. 15. Photo: Ahn Young-Joon — Pool/Getty Images

The U.S. and South Korea launched their largest joint military exercises since 2017 on Monday in the face of threats from North Korea, Reuters reports.

Details: The "Ulchi Freedom Shield" drills, which are due to continue through Sept. 1, are designed to bolster Seoul's readiness for evolving war patterns and for cyber threats against facilities such as "chip factories and supply chains," South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol said Monday.

  • The exercises were expected to involve possibly "tens of thousands of troops," in addition to tanks, ships and aircraft, AP notes.

The big picture: President Biden and Yoon announced the expansion of the joint military exercises in May with the goal of deterring North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's plans to expand the country's nuclear arsenal.

  • North Korea's military has launched missiles throughout the year, including two last week into the sea from its west coast as the U.S. and South Korea began preliminary training ahead of Ulchi Freedom Shield.
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