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'Smile' for Korean stability with the starting of UFG

"Smile" for Korean stability with the starting of UFG


Stepped-up surveillance and alert due to North Korea’s heavier threats than other years




The ROK-U.S. Combined Forces Command said that they are going to conduct Ulchi-Freedom Guardian (UFG) training to keep Korea stable and improve protection in the region from August 18 to 29.

“UFG has been executed according to the ROK-U.S. mutual defense treaty and the cease-fire agreement signed on October 1, 1953. This training is for emphasizing the very deep military partnership, responsibility and everlasting friendship between Korea and the U.S., for placing peace and security in Korea on a firm footing, and for reconfirming the pledge of the Korea-U.S. alliance,“ said a ROK-U.S. CFC official.

He especially stressed that the UFG was not related to the current situation but an ordinary regular training for defense like any other combined training, and it had been planned for several months.

All three Korean armed forces, major forces of the Marine Corps and the relevant officials of branches of the government participated in this training, and approximately 30,000 American soldiers in Korea, including 3,000 more from overseas, as many as other years, attended the training as well.

Ten other UN dispatched nations Australia, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, France, Italy, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway and the UK - are also taking part in this training.

In addition, supervising members of the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission (NNSC) will ascertain whether the training complies with the cease-fire agreement.

The UN Command has informed the North Korean Army of the schedule of the training and its character, which is non-provocative and regular, through Panmunjeom.

“The training is an essential process through which both the Korean and U.S. armies, which are making their best efforts to defend Korea, have been continuing to improve interoperability and mutual understanding,“ said the commander of the combined forces, Curtis Scaparrotti.

He also explained the meaning of the UN dispatched participants, saying that their participation in UFG training was to stress the importance of our alliance’s partnership and teamwork.

Military authorities, meanwhile, reached the conclusion that North Korea criticizes the UFG at very high levels, saying it is an unacceptable military provocation that infringes peace and ruins the relationship between North and Republic of Korea. Hence, they are going to continue the training, stepping up surveillance on and a full alert against North Korea.

“We will enhance the surveillance on North Korea by reinforcing the combined reconnaissance assets and manpower and maintain the readiness posture even around the contact area during the UFG period. If North Korea provokes us, we will punish them without mercy as we have planned and prepared,” said a military official.

Through the statement of the Unification Ministry spokesperson, the government also pressed North Korea for a response to high-level contact as soon as possible, saying that there is a room for discussion about pending issues to improve the relationship between North and Republic of Korea if North Korea has responsible attitudes.


 By Seok-Jong, Lee <

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