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US Navy Begins Annual Military Exercise With South Korean Naval Forces

© REUTERS / U.S. Marine Corps/Cpl. Darien J. BjorndaThe U.S. Navy amphibious assault ships USS Bonhomme Richard, bottom, and USS Boxer, second from top, are underway with the Republic of Korea Navy Dokdo Amphibious Ready Group in the East Sea during exercise Ssang Yong 2016, March 8, 2016
The U.S. Navy amphibious assault ships USS Bonhomme Richard, bottom, and USS Boxer, second from top, are underway with the Republic of Korea Navy Dokdo Amphibious Ready Group in the East Sea during exercise Ssang Yong 2016, March 8, 2016 - Sputnik International
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Three US Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers operated with approximately 10 Republic of Korea Navy ships for seven days off the coast of the ROK peninsula, according to the US Navy press release.

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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The maritime portion of the annual Foal Eagle military exercises between South Korean and US forces has begun, the US Navy announced in a press release on Thursday.

"Three US Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers operated with approximately 10 ROK [Republic of Korea] Navy ships for seven days off the coast of the ROK peninsula," the release explained.

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Foal Eagle is a series of joint and combined field training exercises conducted by US-South Korea Combined Forces Command each year.

One of the largest military exercises in the world, it is defensive in nature and provides tactical level units the opportunity to confirm force deployment readiness, validate interoperability and familiarize forces with the environment, according to the US Department of Defense.

As in past years, North Korea responded to the beginning of Foal Eagle with a threat to annihilate its enemies with nuclear weapons.

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