The leadership exercises are said to start on Monday and last nine days. The focus is on computer simulation. Only absolutely necessary personnel will participate. 28,500 US troops are stationed in South Korea.
North Korea had threatened consequences if the exercises were held in the neighboring country. And Pyongyang accuses the United States regularly of holding exercises with South Korea in preparation for an attack. Washington and Seoul deny this.
The Vice Chairman of the Central Committee of the North Korean Workers’ Party, Kim Yong Chol, recently threatened that South Korea would face a “serious security crisis.” The influential sister of Governor Kim Jong Un, Kim Yo Jong, had previously threatened that North Korea would develop its capabilities in strong preemptive strikes.
In recent years, the United States and South Korea have already reduced the scope of some exercises for diplomatic reasons as well. Negotiations over North Korea’s nuclear program have made no progress since Kim Jong Un’s failed summit meeting with then-US President Donald Trump in February 2019 in Vietnam.
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