Joint military drills to begin today between U.S, South Korea
 Source : NewsBharati  Date : 21-Aug-2017
Washington, August 21: The United States and South Korean forces will begin joint drills today in the South. The annual Ulchi Freedom Guardian drills will be held from today till 31st of this month. 17,500 US soldiers and about 50,000 South Korean troops are participating in the drill. 

 
 
But after North Korea's threats on Guam and an almost unprecedented war of words over Pyongyang's repeated missile tests, analysts have warned that the joint drills may be seen as a provocation at a particularly sensitive time. However, the 2 militaries say this year's drills will center on war games to confirm arrangements to coordinate their command systems by using computers. The US and South Korean forces say they will step up the alert and maintain a watch on the North as it may make new provocations. The head of the US Pacific Command, Admiral Harry Harris said the United States stands by the promise it made to protect South Korea from threats made by the North.
 
He said his forces remain prepared for military action at any time. Meanwhile, North Korea reacted sharply to the drills. Its state-run media said on Sunday that the exercises will worsen the regional situation further like adding fuel to flames. Earlier, the UFG drill in 2015 took place amid high tensions, which resulted in North and South Korea exchanging artillery fire across the border.