The country and South Korea are holding their annual spring military exercises. The drills are smaller than usual because of the new crown Epidemic. Even so, North Korea may still react with anger.
The scaled-down spring military exercises by the U.S. and South Korea have already begun, but they look less like the military drills of the past in the field and more like computer-simulated exercises. U.S. officials insist that military readiness will not be affected.
Adm. Robert Abrams, commander of U.S. forces in South Korea, said, “Rest assured, we are not relaxing on the subject of North Korea.”
Army Gen. Robert Abrams, commander of U.S. forces in South Korea, speaks to the U.S. Congress Thursday from inside a bunker during the exercise, the exact location of which was not revealed.
Adm. Robert Abrams said, “First and foremost, I’m proud to say that our demonstration of joint military capability is reliable and ready to execute our deterrence and combat missions.”
The U.S. and South Korea had already held smaller military exercises prior to the New crown outbreak, aimed at easing tensions during high-level talks with North Korea. However, inter-Korean analyst Duyeon Kim said the U.S. may need to expand the military drills soon.
These defensive drills are designed to protect South Korea and Americans living in South Korea from potential North Korean attacks,” said Duyeon Kim, a senior associate fellow at the Center for a New American Security. If the operational drills are not sustained, then military readiness will inevitably erode. And that’s what everyone is concerned about.”
North Korea, which abandoned negotiations in 2019, does not appear to be returning to the table anytime soon, and some fear it will respond to the U.S.-South Korean military drills with its own military show of force.
Kim Do-yeon said, “Pyongyang has protested these computer-simulated drills before. The military drills have been scaled back since 2019 and there have been no field exercises. However, if you recall, Pyongyang conducted a missile test launch in 2019.”
For now, North Korea seems more focused on dealing with the New Crown epidemic and has blocked the border, cutting off North-South trade and commerce for more than a year. Meanwhile, the Biden administration is reviewing North Korea policy, which means it may be a matter of who decides to act first when it comes to U.S.-North Korea relations.