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South Korea, US troops kick off annual drills over North threats

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South Korean and U.S. militaries kicked off their spring drills on Monday with twice the number of troops joining compared to last year, officials said, as the allies seek to better counter North Korea’s increasing nuclear and missile threats. The Freedom Shield exercises, set for March 4-14, come as North Korea continues to develop its nuclear capabilities with missile and other weapons tests. It will also be first since Pyongyang scrapped a 2018 inter-Korean military pact in November.

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