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S.Korea military confirms staging military drills with U.S. as scheduled

02-13-2014 11:39 BJT

SEOUL, Feb. 13 (Xinhua) -- South Korean military confirmed Thursday that it will stage the joint military drills with the United States as scheduled because it is an exercise of defensive nature. "The 'Key Resolve' and 'Foal Eagle' military exercises are carried out annually and are defensive in nature. Those are very important to defend the Republic of Korea and the Korean Peninsula,"Defense Ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok told a routine press briefing.

Kim said that it was not appropriate to link the humanitarian event of family reunion to the military exercises for national security, noting that the scale and schedules of the Key Resolve and Foal Eagle drills were already agreed on last year between Seoul and Washington.

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) called for South Korea to delay the joint military exercises until after the agreed family reunion during the senior-level talks, the first in seven years, held Wednesday at the border village of Panmunjeom.

Seoul and Pyongyang agreed last week to hold reunion of families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War from Feb. 20 to 25 at the DPRK's scenic resort of Mount Kumgang.

The Defense Ministry said Monday that combined forces of South Korea and the United States will conduct the Key Resolve and Foal Eagle war games from Feb. 24 to April 18, dates that overlap for two days with the family reunion event.

The DPRK was notified of the schedules on Feb. 9 via the United Nations Command, which oversees the Armistice Agreement that ended the 1950-53 Korean War, the spokesman said.


Editor:Zhang |Source: Xinhua

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