(2nd LD) S. Korea, U.S. kick off combined Ulchi Freedom Shield exercise


(ATTN: UPDATES with Navy drills, N. Korean response in final 2 paras; TRIMS)

SEOUL, Aug. 22 (Yonhap) — South Korea and america started an everyday mixed navy train Monday, reviving large-scale area coaching suspended 4 years in the past because the allies push to bolster protection in opposition to evolving North Korean nuclear and missile threats.

The Ulchi Freedom Protect (UFS) train is about to run by way of Sept. 1, involving an array of contingency drills, like concurrent area maneuvers that weren’t held over the previous years underneath the previous Moon Jae-in administration’s drive for peace with Pyongyang.

The allies have stored up vigilance in opposition to the potential of Pyongyang endeavor provocations on the pretext of reacting to their train, which the recalcitrant regime has decried as a conflict rehearsal.

Primarily based on an all-out conflict idea, the train entails three key parts — the computer-simulation command publish train, area coaching and Ulchi civil protection drills.

It’s to proceed in two elements — the primary phase involving drills on repelling North Korean assaults and defending the larger Seoul space, with the second half specializing in counterattack operations.

Throughout the first phase, the Seoul authorities will concurrently maintain the Ulchi drills for 4 days, together with these practising transitioning to a wartime help mode.

The UFS will incorporate drills for numerous real-life situations, together with the invention of improvised explosive units at nuclear energy vegetation, a hearth at a semiconductor manufacturing unit, paralysis of a banking community, terrorism at airports and drone assaults, in accordance with the protection ministry.

Throughout the train, the allies plan to conduct 13 mixed area coaching applications.

The train additionally contains the total operational functionality (FOC) evaluation, a key process for the envisioned conditions-based switch of wartime operational management (OPCON) from Washington to Seoul.

The FOC evaluation is the second a part of the three-stage program designed to vet Seoul’s capabilities to guide the allies’ mixed forces. This system is a part of numerous circumstances required for the OPCON handover.

To stop the unfold of COVID-19, the 2 sides have put in place a set of strict antivirus measures, reminiscent of requiring troops to take virus exams earlier than becoming a member of the train and put on face masks.

As a part of the UFS, the Navy and personnel from the Military, police, hearth service and different businesses engaged in a joint coaching program on countering chemical, organic, radiological and terorist threats at a port in Incheon, west of Seoul, Navy officers mentioned.

In the meantime, a North Korean propaganda web site, Ryomyong, carried a commentary blasting the allied train as a “pitiful” transfer in opposition to a nuclear energy and a “harmful navy provocation.”