The United States and South Korea will hold their annual joint military exercise next month, officials said Wednesday, according to Yonhap News.
The Key Resolve and Foal Eagle exercise, slated for March 8-18, will draw 18,000 U.S. troops from bases here and abroad, slightly smaller than usual, Kim Yong-kyu, a Combined Forces Command (CFC) spokesman, told reporters.
About 28,500 U.S. troops are stationed in South Korea as a deterrent against North Korea, which is technically still at war with the South as their 1950-53 conflict ended in a truce rather than a peace treaty.
Seoul and Washington have "already informed (the North) Korean People`s Army about the exercise dates," the CFC said in a press release, adding the drill "is designed to improve the command`s ability to defend" South Korea.
The joint drill comes a few days after Seoul proposed to Pyongyang that their working-level military officials meet to discuss restrictions hindering transportation and communications in and out of the Kaesong joint factory park in the North.