US Seeks $11 Million From Companies It Says Conspired With North Korea

Tens of thousands of South Korean and U.S. troops are taking part in the Ulchi Freedom Guardian joint military drills, a largely computer-simulated exercise that runs for two weeks in the South.

Flanked by two Patriot missile batteries - another missile defense system created to shoot down incoming projectiles - Harris spoke Tuesday at Osan Air Base just south of Seoul.

Some experts say North Korea is mainly focused on the bigger picture of testing its bargaining power against the United States with its new long-range missiles and likely has no interest in letting things get too tense during the drills.

Seoul and Washington have begun annual war games, prompting the South Korean president, Moon Jae-in, to warn North Korea against using them as an excuse to intensify the "vicious cycle" of tensions.

But it's worth noting the reduction of USA soldiers joining the UFG drill this year, by as many as 7,500, which could signify an attempt by Uncle Sam at appeasement, especially after North Korean leader Kim Jong-un withdrew his threat to fire ICBMs around Guam.

A statement by the state-run KCNA branded the US "imperialists" and South Korea "war maniacs".

'That reason has not yet emerged, ' he said.

Beginning Monday, The United States, South Korea and other nations are taking part in the Ulchi-Freedom Guardian military exercises.

The US generals were to travel to the site of a contentious US missile defence system in South Korea later on Tuesday.

The United States and South Korea have a long history of cooperation in the sphere of defense that goes back to the Korean War in the 1950s.


The start of the US and South Korea drills not only caused North Korea to react but also prompted a warning from Beijing.

"Moreover, high-ranking bosses of the U.S. imperialist aggressor forces flew into South Korea to hold a war confab".

The statement also took issue with such visits which are "increasing the gravity of the situation".

Ju also said that the bolstering of North Korea's nuclear program "is justifiable and a legitimate option for self-defense in the face of such apparent and real threats".

Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono offered a different view, saying pressure, not talks, is needed to push North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons.

This is the first time that Pyongyang singled out the Australian government for criticism.

Around 17,500 US troops and 50,000 South Korean soldiers will participate in the exercises, an increase over the last exercises.

No field training like live-fire exercises or tank maneuvering is involved in the drills, in which alliance officers sit at computers to practice how they would engage in battles and hone their decision-making capabilities.

"The Ulchi exercise is a defensive drill conducted annually".


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