South Korea will begin a regular military exercise with the U.S. tomorrow, drills that annually draw threats of retaliation from North Korea.
The two-week Ulchi Freedom Guardian maneuvers come following an exchange of artillery fire last week near the disputed sea border between North and South.
South Korea’s military said Aug. 10 it fired three artillery rounds after hearing explosions coming the North. The north fired a second round into waters near Yeonpyeong Island, which was the target of a deadly shelling in November, Yonhap News reported.
The start of the yearly exercise will follow a speech by South Korean President Lee Myung Bak on Aug. 15 to celebrate Independence Day. In last year’s speech, Lee called for a special tax to cover the costs of eventual Korean unification, which North Korea called “sheer nonsense” and a “petty trick” to conceal the true aim of bringing about regime change in the communist country.
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