Massive US-South Korea joint drills are about to kick off — check out why North Korea hates them

Joint-training exercises with allied nations is nothing new to the US military. It reinforces relations between foreign powers and familiarizes them with each other's standard operating procedures in the event of a military conflict.

As one of these important allies, South Korea has trained with the US military for years to stabilize the Korean peninsula in case of a flashpoint crisis. Because North and South Korea are technically still at war, the US's presence is seen by many as a deterrent to a conflict with North Korea.

The two major drills — Foal Eagle and Key Resolve — will include, respectively, 11,500 US troops and 290,000 South Korean troops, and 12,200 US troops and 10,000 South Korean troops.

Although the drills were originally scheduled for March, it was postponed after North Korea resumed diplomatic relations with South Korea amid the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.

Unlike previous years where North Korea claimed the drills were a precursor to a military strike, North Korea's response to this year's exercises has been surprisingly muted.

The Pentagon reiterated that the drills had a "defensive nature," and that this year's version would be "at a scale similar to that of the previous years."

Check out the photos of the US and South Korean military in action:

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US-South Korea joint military drills
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US-South Korea joint military drills
South Korean amphibious assault vehicles throw smoke bombs as they make it to the shore during Foal Eagle, March 30, 2015.
US Marines and South Korean soldiers await further orders inside their armored vehicle, during a joint combat training exercise.
US Marines also train in South Korean vehicles. Here, US Marines run out from a South Korean LVT-7 during a joint landing exercise for Foal Eagle, in Pohang, South Korea, March 31, 2014.
US Marines move out with their South Korean counterparts.
US and South Korean Marines aim their rifles near their amphibious assault vehicles during Foal Eagle.
US Marines from 3rd Marine Expeditionary force deployed from Okinawa, Japan, train with South Korean soldiers in Pohang, South Korea.
South Korean and U.S. Marines take part in a winter military drill in Pyeongchang, South Korea, December 19, 2017. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji
A U.S. Navy crew member works on a U.S. F18 fighter jet on the deck of U.S. aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson during an annual joint military exercise called "Foal Eagle" between South Korea and U.S., in the Sea of Japan, South Korea, March 14, 2017. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji
Originally based on the M1 Abrams, the South Korean K1 tank is manufactured by Hyundai Rotem. The South Korean K1 tanks have a range of 310 miles and has a top speed of 40 mph.
Air assets, such as the US Navy's F/A-18 Super Hornet, have also been utilized amid the drills.
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