The United States and South Korea performed a series of military drills this week that you'd have to see to believe.
Despite North Korea's state-run news agency promising to "retaliate against the U.S. with tremendous muscle" if they participated in the drills, they went on anyway. Those threats are nothing new, after all, they happen almost every year the annual Ulchi Freedom Guardian exercises take place. The yearly exercises are performed with nearly 3,000 South Korean and American spectators on hand, and nearly 80,000 troops, all as preparation for a North Korea attack on the South.
"Our soldiers are ready and able," Battalion Commander Heo Jing-Nyeong, of the South Korean army, told CNN. "With the will and courage to fight against the enemy."
Leading up to the exercises, tensions escalated as South Korea pumped propaganda through loud speakers, and a land mine detonated in the demilitarized zone (DMZ), wounding two South Korean soldiers. South Korea stopped the propaganda on Tuesday, while North Korea expressed regret for the land mines. Then the show went on, and as usual, it was a spectacle meant to be seen. South Korea even invited members of the public, who CNN reported would applause every time a bomb hit its intended target.
As you'll see in the video, that happened quite often.
The exercise, which took place about 18 miles south of the demilitarized zone that separates North and South Korea, was the largest ever involving South Korean and American forces.
Important to note is the $619 billion U.S. military budget and a soon-to-be $214 billion dollar South Korea military budget that make these exercises possible.
Both countries are in the top ten in military spending in the world. Fortunately, the use of these weapons may remain for exercises only. Good news came out of the region this week when it was announced that, instead of going to war, North and South Korea would be holding family reunions.
"Both sides decided to develop North-South relations and end the military standoff," South Korea's National Security adviser Kim Kwan-jin said at a press conference.
With the news that tensions were coming under wraps, the impressive exercises went off without a hitch.