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South Korea starts big military exercise amid tensions with North

Published on Oct 25, 2012 11:33 AM

SEOUL (AFP) - South Korea on Thursday kicked off an annual, large-scale military exercise aimed at countering threats from North Korea at a time of heightened cross-border tensions.

The week-long military manoeuvres will involve 240,000 army, navy, air force and marine corps personnel, along with police officers, according to the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS).

About 500 US soldiers will also take part in the exercise, which Pyongyang had condemned in the past as tantamount to "a war of aggression".

Some 28,500 US personnel are stationed in the South - a legacy of the 1950-53 Korean War that ended with a ceasefire but not a peace treaty, leaving the two Koreas still technically at war.

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