S. Korea to hold annual Hoguk defense exercise next week

South Korea will kick off an annual large-scale military exercise next week to strengthen defense readiness, the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said Friday.

The Hoguk field training exercise, which involves the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps., will run from Monday to Nov. 22 to enhance interoperability, according to the JCS.

This year's exercise will simulate various threats posed by North Korea's nuclear weapons, missiles and unmanned assets, the JCS said, noting that some U.S. troops will take part in the exercise to boost interoperability.

During last year's drills, the North fired artillery shots into maritime buffer zones near the inter-Korean border and ballistic missiles into the East Sea.

The exercise comes amid tensions as the North threatened Friday to strike U.S. strategic assets deployed to the Korean Peninsula after the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier docked at the southeastern port of Busan the previous day.

Launched in 1996, the annual Hoguk exercise is held in the second half of each year.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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