South Korea's Defense Ministry says the country is faithfully abiding by inter-Korean military agreements as its unilateral military exercise, Ulchi Taegeuk, kicked off for the first time Monday.
During a media briefing on Monday, ministry spokeswoman Choi Hyun-soo rejected North Korea's criticism against the South's exercise, calling it a defensive drill.
Regarding concerns that the new drill, which in effect replaces a major joint exercise between South Korea and the U.S. called Ulchi Freedom Guardian, may lack efficiency due to the lack of U.S. participation, Choi said that the drill is unilateral by design and that all efforts are being made to ensure its thorough implementation.
Speaking on the planned transfer of wartime operational control(OPCON) from the U.S., she stressed the importance of a well-prepared transition and that the two allies are steadily and systematically moving forward with the transfer while seeking to secure the necessary capabilities required for a swift transition.
Source: KBS World Radio