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South Korea and U.S. start stepped-up military drills

Exercises to bolster defense against North Korean missile strikes, other dangers

U.S. and South Korean troops take part in exercises as part of the Ulchi Freedom Shield in Yangyang, South Korea, in August 2023.   © Reuters

SEOUL -- South Korea and the U.S. started an expanded version of key annual military exercises on Monday as part of the allies' efforts to counter the nuclear threat posed by North Korea.

The drills, called Freedom Shield, are held annually and involve live, virtual and field-based training, with the involvement of personnel from various military services. They are aimed at "enhancing interoperability and elevating combat readiness."

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