South Korea and the United States have launched another round of controversial wargames near the Korean Peninsula despite opposition from the North.
The two-month-long drills will involve nearly 13-thousand American forces and some 200-thousand South Korean troops. The annual event has been routinely condemned by North Korea, calling it a rehearsal by its enemies for invasion. Last year's exercises fuelled military tensions, with Pyongyang threatening a pre-emptive nuclear strike and US stealth bombers flying over the peninsula. This year's drills also overlap with the reunion of families separated by the Korean War some six decades ago. So far, North Korea has not issued any official statement. But, Pyongyang had previously threatened to cancel the reunions if the exercises went ahead.