Next week, South Korea and the U.S. will begin the biggest combined military exercise involving field maneuvers.
Ahead of that, the allies are conducting preliminary drills with a focus on scenarios that could precede a possible war.
Bae Eun-ji fills us in.
Ahead of the summertime combined training between Seoul and Washington, the allies on Tuesday kicked off their "crisis-management drills."
The preliminary drills will last for four days, and aim to practice how to respond to potential pre-war crisis scenarios caused by North Korean provocations.
They will also practice ways to integrate diplomatic and military measures to avoid an actual war.
Once the preliminary drills are completed, the two allies will hold their "Ulchi Freedom Shield" combined exercise from August 22nd to September 1st.
It will be the first fully-fledged joint drill in four years, after the two countries canceled some and scaled down others to computer simulations in recent years -- to enhance diplomacy with Pyeongyang and because of the pandemic.
By doing so, the South Korean military aims to strengthen the alliance with the U.S. and enhance combined defense readiness.
"During the combined training, we will strengthen our combined mission capability by including field exercises in the drills."
South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff also said assessments will be carried out for the full operational capability -- or FOC -- a key procedure for the conditions-based transfer of wartime operational control from Washington to Seoul.
Bae Eun-ji, Arirang News.