South Korean and American troops began annual military drills Monday that North Korea warned could trigger a nuclear war on the divided peninsula. Despite the North Korean threats to retaliate, South Korea and the United States went ahead with their first major combined military exercises since the North shelled a front-line South Korean island in November, killing four people. Some 12,800 US. troops and 200,000 South Korean soldiers and reservists are taking part in the drills.
The main part of the drills, which will involve computer war games and live-firing exercises, will last 11 days, while some field training will continue until late April, according to the South Korea-US joint forces command in Seoul. South Korea's Defense Ministry says there have been no suspicious activities by the North's military, but the country's military is ready to repel any new North Korean attacks. (Read more North Korea stories.)