South Korea will launch a new unilateral military exercise to replace one of its major joint exercises with the United States next week.
According to the Ministry of National Defense on Friday, the Ulchi-Taegeuk exercise to be held for four days from Monday is a combination of the Ulchi government exercise and the Taegeuk exercise by the South Korean military. It also involves civilian participation.
The Ulchi-Taegeuk drill will be divided into two parts: one to enhance ability to counter national crises, including national disasters, and the other to exercise war readiness.
This effectively puts an end to the Ulchi-Freedom Guardian, one of the three major joint drills held with the U.S. The other two drills, Key Resolve and Foal Eagle, have also been suspended to help efforts to engage North Korea. Seoul and Washington replaced the two springtime exercises with a new exercise called Dong Maeng, or alliance.