SEOUL, Aug. 16 (Xinhua) -- The combined forces of South Korea and the United States planned to launch four-day preliminary drills on Tuesday ahead of their major combined exercise set to begin next week, according to Yonhap news agency.
The South Korea-led crisis management drills would be conducted from Tuesday to Friday, aimed at practicing procedures to respond to possible pre-war crisis scenarios.
The preparatory drills would be conducted in the run-up to the Ulchi Freedom Shield (UFS) exercise, a newly-named summertime military exercise between the two allies involving field maneuvers.
South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said in a statement on Tuesday that the UFS exercise, which is defensive in nature as it has been annually staged, would last from Aug. 22 to Sept. 1.
The Democratic People's Republic of Korea has denounced the exercise as a dress rehearsal for northward invasion.
The JCS noted that the UFS exercise would involve field maneuvers to ensure the condition of a stable push for the transition of wartime operational control through the assessment of the full operational capability.
South Korea and the United States have agreed upon the conditions-based transfer of wartime operational control over South Korean troops from Washington to Seoul.
South Korea's wartime command was handed over to the U.S.-led UN command after the 1950-53 Korean War broke out. South Korea won back its peacetime operational control in 1994.