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U.S., South Korea kick off annual joint military exercises after month-long delay

Nabin Talukder: South Korea and the US start their yearly joint military activities yesterday, after a month-long delay due to the Winter Olympics and to help make conditions for a resumption of talks amongst the two Koreas.The Foal Eagle field exercise, which usually involves combined ground, air, naval and special operations troops, will continue for a month, with computer-simulated Key Resolve expected to be held for two weeks starting in mid-April. A Pentagon spokesman said in March the two joint drills would involve about 23,700 US troops and 300,000 South Korean forces, reports Reuters. Military officials in Seoul have said the scale of the exercises would not go beyond those seen in previous years. The Foal Eagle and Key Resolve exercises are usually held every year around March but they were postponed this year until after the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics and Paralympics ended last month. North Korea, which has traditionally accused both the South Korea and the US of invading the island state, has remained quiet on the issue. In March, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un told a visiting South Korean delegation in Pyongyang that he “understands” the situation relating to the joint drills. Revise: Sayeed

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