The South Korean military launched a two-day exercise to defend the easternmost islets of Dokdo on Sunday, three days after Seoul decided to scrap a military information sharing deal with Japan.
The Navy announced on Sunday that the "East Sea territory defense exercise" will involve the Army, Navy, and the Air Force, as well as the Marine Corps and the Korea Coast Guard, including their troops, naval warships and aircraft.
A Navy official said that the scale of this year's exercise has been significantly increased from previous years.
The official added that in consideration of the drill's significance and size, the military named it the "East Sea territory defense exercise" in order to further solidify its determination to defend the country's territories in the East Sea, including Dokdo.
South Korea has conducted the drills twice a year, usually in June and December, to better defend the islets and surrounding waters. This year it was pushed back in consideration of its potential impact on relations with Tokyo, which also makes territorial claims to Dokdo.
However, the military launched the drills just three days after the government ended the General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA) amid Japan's continued refusal on calls for dialogue to resolve disputes on trade and other issues.