In addition to South Korean and US forces, Australia, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, New Zealand, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom will also participate in the exercise. According to USA military officials, North Korea will cross a red line if it launches another ICBM with the ability to attach a small nuclear warhead inside the missile.
These drills are an annual exercise, and we don't really need them to prepare for military eventualities.
The Ulchi-Freedom Guardian drills have taken place every two years and will kick off just as the USA prepares for a total solar eclipse that will track across the entire country.
Out of the 17,500 U.S. service members who are going to participate, about 3,000 coming from off-peninsula for the exercise that will start on August 21 and end on August 31. Despite pressure from China and North Korea to cancel the drills, military commanders said stopping the drills were not open for negotiation.
South Korea is banned from developing nukes on its own under the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty - which it signed in 1975. Six other troops were also injured in the incident.
When asked about how to resolve the North Korean nuclear program, Jeong said he agrees with President Moon's two-phased approach to resolving the standoff, starting with a freeze on North Korea's nuclear and missile development followed by complete dismantlement.
"We want to use diplomacy".