Over 5-thousand U.S. military personnel are taking part in this year's joint South Korea-U.S. military exercise Key Resolve.
Key Resolve, which runs from this Monday to March 6th, is a defensive, computer-simulated drill that aims at enhanced command and control of all units around the nation in a wartime scenario.
"As we said in our official announcement, Korea and the U.S. will start its Key Resolve and Foal Eagle exercise as planned on February 24th."
For the first time, this year's exercise includes training to counter all stages -- from preparation to launch -- of Pyongyang's weapons of mass destruction as part of the allies' deterrence strategy.
Seven,five-hundred U.S. troops are taking part in a series of joint and combined field training exercises dubbed Foal Eagle, which also start Monday and run through April 18th.
Last year's exercises involved 10-thousand U.S. troops.
U.S. aircraft carriers and stealth bombers that were used in 2013 have been left out this time to avoid provoking North Korea.
Pyongyang has remained comparatively quiet about this year's exercises, choosing to refrain from threatening to attack the South as it has done in previous years.
Keeping the steadily improving progress in inter-Korean relations in mind, South Korea's military has said it will not heavily promote the drills nor will it engage in any other acts that could anger its northern neighbor.
Kim Hyun-bin, Arirang News.