SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — President Donald Trump promised to end “war games” with South Korea, calling them provocative, after meeting North Korean leader Kim Jong Un earlier this week. His announcement appeared to catch both South Korea and the Pentagon by surprise. A brief explanation of the military exercises:
The U.S. and South Korea hold major joint exercises every spring and summer in South Korea.
The spring one — actually two overlapping exercises called Key Resolve and Foal Eagle — includes live-fire drills with tanks, aircraft and warships. About 10,000 American and 200,000 Korean troops usually take part. The drills typically begin in March but were delayed until April this year to encourage North Korean participation in the Winter Olympics in the South.
The summer exercise, Ulchi Freedom Guardian, consists mainly of computer simulations to hone joint decision-making and planning. Some 17,500 American and 50,000 South Korean troops participated last year. The drill, held since the 1970s, usually takes place in August. Trump’s pledge has thrown its fate into question this year.