SEOUL, Feb. 21 (UPI) -- The annual South Korean-U.S. military drill will be next month to improve the forces' capabilities against North Korean threats, it was announced Thursday.
The Combined Forces Command's announcement comes as North Korea continues with provocations, the latest being its long-range rocket launch Dec. 12 and its third nuclear test Feb. 12.
The CFC said in a release that the Key Resolve drill will be March 11-25 and involve about 10,000 South Korean and 3,500 U.S. troops.
The drill, using computer simulation, will test various scenarios with the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff taking a lead role in conducting operations as the country prepares to regain its wartime operational control from Washington at the end of 2015.
"This is the first year that the Key Resolve exercise is being led by the Republic of Korea JCS, not the Combined Forces Command," the CFC said. "This will help improve the ROK (South Korean) military's operational command capabilities and establish a basis for the wartime operations control transition."
The two sides also plan the Foal Eagle land, sea and air maneuvers from March 1-April 30. It will involve mobilizing about 200,000 Korean and 10,000 U.S. troops, mostly from overseas, the release said.
The CFC said the North Korean military has been informed of the exercises.