War games begin in Korea despite North’s nuclear-strike threat
Stars and Stripes | .
published: August 22, 2016
SEOUL, South Korea – The U.S. and South Korea kicked off a new round of war games Monday despite protests from the North, which threatened a pre-emptive nuclear strike.
The annual Ulchi Freedom Guardian exercises come as relations between the two Koreas have sharply deteriorated since North Korea conducted its fourth underground atomic test in January.
Tensions spiked again last week when Seoul confirmed that a senior North Korean diplomat had defected from his post at Pyongyang’s embassy in London.
About 25,000 U.S. servicemembers – including 2,500 from areas off the peninsula – and 50,000 South Korean forces will participate in the nearly two-week drills.