Red Teams Test U.S., ROK Forces with Simulated North Korean Attack

By Col David Maxwell

David Maxwell is a Senior Fellow specializing in North Korea and East Asia Affairs at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. He is the Associate Director of the Center for Security Studies in the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. He is a retired US Army Special Forces Colonel.

The U.S. and South Korea will hold joint military exercises beginning on Monday, as tensions on the Korean peninsula are on the rise. U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un engaged in a war of words over the past few weeks, with Trump saying he would release “fire and fury” on the North if the country continued threatening the U.S. with missile launches. The North, after threatening to fire on the U.S. territory of Guam, eventually backed down. And on Thursday, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said there will be no war on the Korean Peninsula, after assurances from Trump that the U.S. will not attack North Korea without Seoul’s consent.

Still, the U.S. and South Korea are moving forward will their annual Ulchi Freedom Guardian exercises, an event the North views as a major threat, and a preparation for invasion. It’s also an event that Beijing would rather see toned down or ended altogether. In March, China proposed the U.S. halt its annual Foal Eagle exercises with South Korea in return for North Korea promising to stop its nuclear missile tests. But ending these annual exercises is a non-starter for the United States, as Washington considers them a way to both deter the North and ready forces in case of an actual attack.

Access all of The Cipher Brief’s national security-focused expert insight by becoming a Cipher Brief Subscriber+ Member.

Sign Up Log In

Categorized as:Asia ReportingTagged with:

Related Articles