WASHINGTON, Feb. 24 (UPI) -- United States and South Korean governments announced they will start their annual joint military drills on March 2, reigniting a constant source of tension with North Korea.
The drills, code named Key Resolve and Foal Eagle, are some of the largest and most widespread, with hundreds of thousands of troops involved. The drills, which end April 24, include field exercises and computer simulations.
The Key Resolve war games will include 10,000 South Korean troops and 8,600 U.S. troops from March 2 through March 13. Foal Eagle, which will last until April 24, will include 200,000 South Korean and 3,700 U.S. soldiers.
The U.S. and South Korea say the drills are intended to be non provocative, but also a means to ensure readiness for a North Korean attack. North Korean officials see them as drills for imminent invasion and have demanded they be canceled.
Last month, North Korea proposed to stop nuclear testing in exchange for suspending the exercises. U.S. leaders rejected the proposal. In response, North Korean leader Kim Jung Un oversaw the test-firing of anti-ship missiles.