S. Korea Kicks Off Military Drill In Aftermath Of Inter-Korean Summit

SEOUL, Oct 8 (Bernama) — South Korea began Monday an annual military exercise which had been delayed due to the inter-Korean summit, South Korean Yonhap news agency quoted the Defence Ministry as saying here.

South Korea initially planned to hold the the Hwarang Exercise, aimed at fostering an integrated civil-government-military defense posture, in August together with the Ulchi Focus Lens (UFL), a South Korea-U.S. computerised command-and-control exercise.

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But it postponed the training until after the summit to avoid distracting the leaders of the two Koreas.

“The corps-level Hwarang Exercise will be held this week and next week in Seoul, nearby Gyeonggi province, and some other provincial regions,” Defence Ministry spokesman Kim Hyung-gi said.

He added the ministry launched a task force to set the agenda for the second-ever defense ministerial talks between the two Koreas, which are to be held next month in Pyongyang.

The team, led by Jeon Jei-guk, South Korea’s assistant defence minister for policy, includes more than 10 other senior military officers and defense experts.

“Its first meeting will be held today,” the spokesman said.

The defence ministerial meeting was agreed upon at the summit, but the date has not been fixed yet.

South and North Korea had the first talks between their defence chiefs in September 2000 on the South’s Jeju Island, three months after their historic first summit.