Amid growing tensions with North Korea, the US and South Korea began their annual joint military exercise that will last for 10 days.

Mattis responds to North Korean threats

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This morning (Monday), the US and South Korea began their joint military exercise amid threats from North Korea. The annual Ulchi-Freedom Guardian exercise, based mainly on simulations of combat with the northern enemy, is expected to continue for 10 days.

Pyongyang responded by threatening nuclear war. South Korean President Moon Jae-in stated that the joint exercise is solely defensive and isn’t aimed to increase tensions with its neighbor. “We have no intention of increasing the military tension on the Korean Peninsula,” he said. “These drills are held annually and are of a defensive nature.”







Mattis

Mattis Photo credit: Reuters/ Channel 2 News

“North Korea should not underestimate our efforts to preserve peace,” the president added. “It should not provoke the situation by using the exercise as an excuse.” US Secretary of Defense James Mattis made a statement of a similar nature.







Kim Jong-un

Kim Jong-un Photo credit: Reuters/ Channel 2 News