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S.Korea, US begin preparatory drills ahead of major combined training

Seoul : South Korea and the US kicked off preliminary military drills on Tuesday ahead of their major springtime combined training later this month, Seoul officials said.

The allies began the four-day South Korea-led crisis management staff training (CMST) in the run-up to their command post training (CCPT) set to run from next Monday through April 28, Yonhap news agency reported, citing the officials.

Led by South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, the CMST is designed to practice a set of procedures to respond to possible pre-war crisis scenarios. The CCPT is a computer simulation training based on the allies’ wartime contingency plans.

Observers said that the allies could consider staging field training as well amid concerns that North Korea could engage in provocative acts, such as the launch of another intercontinental ballistic missile or a nuclear test, in time for its major political events later this month.

The North is set to celebrate the 110th birth anniversary of its late founding leader Kim Il-sung on Friday and the founding anniversary of the North Korean People’s Revolutionary Army on April 25.

The springtime training was initially planned for March but has been postponed to April due to last month’s presidential election, the Covid-19 pandemic and other reasons.

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