This year's 12-day Hoguk exercise involving the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps “will focus on ways to establish supreme military defense capabilities against (North Korea's) possible regional provocations and all-out war,” the JCS said in a statement.
The exercise was to be conducted across the nation, the JCS said, adding that the programs include joint landing drills, maritime infiltration defense drills and those to defend the northwestern islands on the Yellow Sea.
Some US military forces will also join some of the drills, according to the JCS, according to South Korea's (Yonhap) News Agency.
Some 330,000 military servicemen are taking part in the drill, the largest ever number since the country first staged the drill in 1996, according to the JCS officers. The exercise used to involve some 80,000 service personnel.
“As North Korea is believed to have carried out intensive military drills in recent months, we've decided to launch the largest-ever scale of the drills in response in order to boost our capabilities,” said a JCS Officer, requesting anonymity.
The Koreas remain technically at war after the 1950-53 Korean War ended in an armistice, not a peace treaty. About 28,500 US soldiers are stationed here to deter and counter potential threats from the communist country.