Tuesday, March 4, 2008

U.S. War Games Causing A Stir In Southeast Asia

Korea-U.S. Joint Military Exercise Begins
The Chosun Ilbo

South Korean and U.S. forces on Sunday began Key Resolve, an annual joint military exercise that practices the rapid deployment of U.S. troop reinforcements to Korea in the event of war on the Korean Peninsula.

Until 2007 the exercise had been called "Reception, Staging, Onward Movement and Integration of Forces" (RSOI). This year's exercise will be conducted throughout the southern part of Korea until Friday.

Foal Eagle, a joint field maneuver drill, will also be conducted during the same period.

During Key Resolve, U.S. troop reinforcements will deploy from the U.S. mainland and Pacific bases in Hawaii and Guam to mock battlefields in Korea, and South Korean and U.S. forces will conduct joint operations in preparation for war on the Korean Peninsula.

About 6,000 U.S. troop reinforcements from overseas will join 12,000 U.S. troops stationed in South Korea in the exercise. In addition, 9,000 U.S. troops will be on standby aboard ships at sea. The total number of U.S. troops participating in this year's exercise is similar to that of previous years.

Also participating in this year's exercise are the USS Ohio, a U.S. Navy nuclear-propelled submarine which carries 154 Tomahawk cruise missiles, and the 93,000-ton USS Nimitz, a U.S. Navy nuclear-powered supercarrier.

North Korea has denounced the joint military exercise as a "war game aimed at a northward invasion."

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