South Korean troops practiced a war scenario involving the occupation and stabilization of North Korea during a joint military drill with the United States last month, a report said Tuesday.
The two allies, who staged a similar stabilization exercise in 2010, upgraded it to strengthen the role of the South Korean army in the event of an “emergency situation in the North,” Dong-A Ilbo newspaper said.
It cited an unnamed senior government official, who said the maneuver — called Wind of Freedom — involved humanitarian assistance for North Koreans after occupying the communist state and restoring administrative services.
The exercise was part of the annual Ulchi Freedom Guardian drill held from August 20-31 and involving tens of thousands of South Korean and US troops.
The North has habitually condemned the drill as a provocative prelude to war.
“The practice … for the first time let the South Korean military lead overall operations to potentially stabilize the North, with the back-up by the US,” said a military source quoted by Dong-A.
[Image via Agence France-Presse]