18:35 GMT29 September 2020
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    SEOUL (Sputnik) - South Korea has begun preparations for the annual joint summer drills with the United States which this year will be held in an abridged format due to the coronavirus, South Korean newspaper The Chosun Ilbo reported on Wednesday, citing sources.

    According to the report, the drills are scheduled to take place from 16-28 August.

    South Korea's preparation reportedly began on Tuesday and included a crisis management staff training.

    Last February, South Korea and the US suspended the Key Resolve, Foal Eagle and Ulchi-Freedom Guardian joint military drills and replaced them with the biannual Dong Maeng exercise.

    Special Operations Command Korea service members conduct close quarters battle training with their Republic of Korea Special Warfare Command counterparts at Kunsan Air Force Base, South Korea, Nov. 11, 2019

    Dong Maeng was originally supposed to engage real troops and military equipment, albeit of reduced quantity, but so far has come down to computer-simulated military command post-exercise. Because the pandemic has complicated the arrival of US troops, the government reduced the exercise's format even further this year, cancelling the night-time training.

    The March edition of the Dong Maeng military exercise was cancelled earlier this year due to COVID-19.

    United States, South Korea
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