US, South Korean Military Forces Begin Four-Week Joint Exercises

Grant Boone
April 2, 2018

The Foal Eagle field exercise will run for four weeks, both countries have said, meaning they will last about half the time as last year's maneuvers.

The duration of the operation, dubbed Foal Eagle, was shortened to a month, according to the report, due to the presence of the Olympics last month.

The start of the drills, which usually commence between the end of February and the beginning of March, was postponed due to the Winter Olympic Games in South Korea, an event which started a detente with Pyongyang and the announcement of the two summits.

The computer-simulated Key Resolve exercise will begin in mid-April and last for about two weeks, officials said. Moreover, US supercarriers or nuclear submarines were not deployed to the military exercise. They all landed harmlessly in the Sea of Japan.

Pyongyang has long denounced the joint drills as a symbol of Washington's hostile policy and rehearsal for invasion. The communist nation's leader Kim Jong-un plans to have back-to-back summit talks with the South's President Moon Jae-in and U.S. President Donald Trump this spring.

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The White House agreed, citing the need "to de-conflict the Olympics and our military exercises so that United States and Republic of Korea forces can focus on ensuring the security of the Games".

Kim, meanwhile, called Trump a "mentally deranged US dotard" as his country demonstrated rapid progress in its efforts to develop a nuclear weapon that could target the USA mainland.

Relations between the USA and North Korea also appear to be thawing lately. -North Korean summit. But the president said he will maintain his "maximum pressure" campaign seeking to isolate the regime until an agreement is reached. It blacklisted 27 ships, 21 shipping companies and a man accused of facilitating sanctions evasion.

The duration of Foal Eagle has been shortened to a month, with no major US strategic assets such as supercarriers and nuclear subs expected to show up.

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