Dozens of South Koreans gathered in front of the US embassy on Monday to protest against the US-South Korean joint military drill, code-named Ulchi-Freedom Guardian or UFG. The police arrested 4 protesters.
According to the report by Korean media, dozens of South Korean protesters shouted slogans during a rally near the US Embassy in Seoul demanding to stop the joint military exercises UFG, which began on the same day. The protesters held banners, reading “Stop nuclear war exercises — Ulchi-Freedom Guardian.” Demonstrators gave out leaflets and attempted to breach the US embassy.
South Korean police arrested 4 protestors for violating the protests and demonstrations rules. Earlier, the police have searched the office of the non-governmental organization which the protesters belong to. The police alleged that the NGO violates the national security law.
The South Korea military announced that the joint military drill “Ulchi-Freedom Guardian 2015” officially kicked off on Monday. The drill will run for 12 days and will end on August 28.
South Korean media said UFG is routine and defense-oriented. The aim of the drill is to protect the region and maintain stability on the Korean peninsula, enhance the interoperability of the United States and Republic of Korea military forces while enhancing the combat readiness of the alliance. The scale of this year’s exercise is the same as the previous years. The military drill involves more than 50 thousand South Korean and 30 thousand US troops.
On August 15, using voice amplification units installed in Panmunjom, a village situated on the de facto border between North and South Korea, the United Nations Command Military Armistice Commission (UNCMAC) informed North Korea about the agenda of the joint military drill between South Korea and the US.
The National Defense Commission of DPRK issued a statement demanding that the military drill should be stopped immediately. In addition, North Korea threatened to take "tougher countermeasures" if South Korea and the US determine to continue UFG.