South Korea and the United States began their largest joint military drills in years today with a resumption of field training. According media reports, the annual summertime exercises, renamed ‘Ulchi Freedom Shield’ this year and scheduled to end on 1st of September.

Deep in a military bunker outside Seoul, two Air Force Colonels sit shoulder-to-shoulder. This week, for the first time in four years, the two militaries will run field exercises, to practise how they would respond to a North Korean attack.

South Korea also launched the four-day Ulchi civil defence drills separately today, designed to boost government readiness, for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic emerged. The military and civil exercises are aimed at improving the country’s preparedness to match the changing patterns of war, with evolving cyber threats against key facilities such as chip factories and supply chains.