South Korea, US drills to start despite North's warning

US and South Korean military personnel in attendance during a visit by US President Donald Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in do the Joint Security Area on June 30, 2019. PHOTO: AFP

SEOUL (BLOOMBERG) - South Korea and the United States will start joint military drills on Monday (Aug 5), Yonhap News reports, as tensions escalate in the Korean peninsula after North Korea tested missiles twice in a week.

The two allies will stage drills with a computer-simulated command post exercise for about two weeks, and spend another 10 days verifying South Korea's ability to retake wartime operational control of its troops from the US, Yonhap reported, citing an unidentified South Korean military authority.

Last month, North Korea's state media KCNA warned that the joint military exercise could jeopardise new talks, saying that President Donald Trump had pledged to suspend such exercises in his last meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

The US and North Korea have yet to restart nuclear negotiations after the two leaders agreed to do so at a historic June 30 meeting at the Korean Demilitarised Zone.

Seoul and Washington will step up surveillance of potential launches from Pyongyang during the joint drills, according to Yonhap, citing unidentified military sources.

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