The US and South Korea yesterday wrapped up military drills at the center of soaring tensions with North Korea, as Pyongyang ignored a new overture over a flagship joint industrial zone.
The two-month-long “Foal Eagle” air, ground and naval field training exercise — which involved more than 10,000 US troops along with a far higher number of South Korean personnel — had infuriated Pyongyang.
“The drill is over but the South Korean and US militaries will continue to watch out for potential provocations by the North, including a missile launch,” South Korean Defense Ministry spokesman Kim Min-Seok told reporters.
The North is still maintaining a number of missiles and missile launchers that were recently moved to its east coast in apparent preparation for a launch, Kim said.
Relations between the two Koreas have been further soured by a row over the Kaesong factory park inside the North. Most remaining South Korean workers quit the complex early yesterday, but seven supervisors stayed to resolve administrative issues. It was unclear when they would return.
The North did not respond to a plea by South Korean businessmen to visit Kaesong yesterday for talks aimed at averting its permanent closure, according to Seoul, despite hopes of an easing of tensions after the end of the drills.