South Korea, U.S. begin two-week joint war drills

Anti-war activists during a rally against S. Korea-US military drills outside a US Army base in Seoul on August 19, 2013 (AFP, Jung Yeon-Je)
South Korea launched a military drill Monday with the United States against a simulated North Korean invasion, even as a recent easing of tensions between Seoul and Pyongyang gathered momentum.
Although the Ulchi Freedom Guardian drill, which began Monday, is largely conducted on computers, it involves more than 80,000 South Korean and U.S. troops.
Pyongyang usually reacts angrily to military exercises in the South, calling them a rehearsal for war. But, the response this time has been muted, coming at a time when tensions on the peninsula seem to be decreasing.
The North and South agreed last week to work toward reopening a jointly-run factory park. Pyongyang agreed on Sunday to participate in talks on reuniting families separated during the Korean War.
Source: Agencies
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