Key Resolve, Foal Eagle, Ssong Yong: 315,000 U.S. & South Korean Troops Conduct Massive Drills

 

With missile launches by North Korea, Kim’s threats to preemptively nuke the U.S., and Chinese aggression in the South China Sea have sparked one of the largest military drills to ever happen on the Korean peninsula. 300,000 South Korean servicemen and woman are joined by 15,000 of their U.S. counterparts to let the region know they are not to be fucked with.

U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Lloyd Burton the III, Field Artillery Cannoneer, with A Battery, 1st Battalion 12th Marines, 3D Marine Division, fires an M136E1 AT4-CS confined space light anti-armor weapon at a live fire training event during Exercise Ssang Yong 14 at Suesongri, South Korea, March 26, 2014. Exercise Ssang Yong 14 is conducted annually in the Republic of Korea (ROK) to enhance interoperablility between U.S. and ROK forces by performing a full spectrum of amphibious operations while showcasing sea-based power projection in the Pacific. (U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Lance Cpl Tyler S. Dietrich/ Released)
U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Lloyd Burton the III, Field Artillery Cannoneer, with A Battery, 1st Battalion 12th Marines, 3D Marine Division, fires an M136E1 AT4-CS confined space light anti-armor weapon at a live fire training event during Exercise Ssang Yong 16 at Suesongri, South Korea. U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Lance Cpl Tyler S. Decompo.

Massive amphibious landings, live fire exercises, and mechanized columns that can shake a building down are happening all across the ROK. Kim is obviously spooked, but so are the U.S. and the South. When a crazy dictator threatens to nuke you preemptively that tends to set a bad tone, and leaves military commanders in Washington wondering whether or not they should hit the North first with a massive invasion.

“Things could get dicey in the next couple months,” – Bruce Klingner, a Korea expert at the Heritage Foundation think tank in Washington, D.C.

While the likelihood of an invasion is mute this level of mobilization by both militaries gives us a glimpse of what it would look like. Watch as 19 ships from the U.S. Navy and Republic of Korea Navy transit in formation as part of exercise Ssang Yong 16 off the coast of the Republic of Korea.

Later this month exercise Key Resolve will involve the participation of the aircraft carrier John C. Stennis and its strike group, the submarine North Carolina, F-22 Raptors and nuclear-capable B-2 bombers. Let’s see what Kim does next when there is so many strategic assets at his doorstep.

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