Is there actually a practical purpose in these exercises? Or is it a way to intimidate North Korea and remind them of the US's military powers? If not, couldn't they just hold these exercises somewhere not near the North Korean border?

  • Probably yes to both. Mar 16, 2017 at 11:48
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    Have you looked at any of the Public Affairs productions for either the Foal Eagle or Ssang Yong exercises? Mar 16, 2017 at 13:26
  • Since there was never a peace treaty to formally end the Korean War, it kind of makes sense for allies on the same side to stay in practice, doesn't it? Jun 11, 2018 at 21:54

1 Answer 1


Reminding North-Korea about the US military power is a reason.

Officially, North and South Korea are still in a state of war. There is an armistice, but despite that there are still regular incidents where it comes to weapons being fired by one side and/or the other. The relationship between the two countries keeps being hostile. There is a constant danger that this conflict might flare up again.

When North-Korea invaded South-Korea in 1950, South Korea was only able to repel the invasion because the United States came to their aid. The United States are still committed to protect the South-Korean independence. The regular joint military exercises between US and South-Korean military forces do not just serve as an exercise to improve the coordination between them in case the Korean war becomes hot again but also reaffirms to all powers in the area that the alliance between the USA and South-Korea is still stable.

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    Technically the US and North Korea are also still at war I believe, for the same reasons. Mar 16, 2017 at 11:59
  • @DavidGrinberg I believe the other way, as the US was technically intervening in Korea under the command of the UN, so there was no state of war between US and North Korea. The same applies to China, because Chinese forces were fighting in Korea as volunteers, not as the PLA, and there was consequently no state of war between China and South Korea, making it easier for China and South Korea to establish diplomatic ties in the 80/90s.
    – xuq01
    Mar 17, 2017 at 15:37

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