21 June 2017

News Story: U.S. commander says more combined drills with S. Korea needed

By Lee Chi-dong

UIJEONGBU, South Korea, June 20 (Yonhap) -- A top U.S. military commander in South Korea said he can't overemphasize the need for more combined exercises between the two countries, citing the seriousness of North Korea's weapons of mass destruction threats.

"I am never satisfied. I want to do more training." said Maj. Gen. Theodore D. Martin, the commanding general of the 2nd Infantry Division. "I want all training to be combined just like we got a saying, 'Train like you fight.' We want to get to very high-level live-fire exercises."

He was speaking in an exclusive interview at his office at Camp Red Cloud in Uijeongbu, about 50 kilometers south of inter-Korean border, on Monday.

His comments came amid renewed concern about the future of the South Korea-U.S. alliance forged in blood during the 1950-53 Korean War.

Speaking at a forum in Washington, D.C. over the weekend, Moon Chung-in, a special adviser to South Korean President Moon Jae-in on unification, security and foreign affairs, suggested that the allies scale down their joint defense drills and the presence of strategic U.S. military assets on the peninsula.

He set the freeze of North Korea's missile and nuclear programs as a precondition.

Cheong Wa Dae, South Korea's presidential office, played down his personal view that's not helpful to the Seoul-Washington alliance, with the presidents of the two sides slated to hold summit talks next week.

The upcoming meeting will be the first test of chemistry between the liberal South Korean leader and his conservative American counterpart Donald Trump.

Read the full story at YonhapNews