US-South Korean Military Exercise Triggers Riots to Make Locals Angry, What happened?

US-South Korean Military Exercise Triggers Riots to Make Locals Angry, What happened?
US-South Korean Military Exercise

Seoul - Military drills hosted by the US and Korea sparked a commotion. This then made the residents around the training area angry. Residents living in the area near the joint US-Korean military training ground complained about the noise. They are also concerned about the safety of this military operation.

The complex north of Seoul less than 30 km from the border with North Korea is one of the largest training grounds between the South Korean and US militaries. The scene around it was in an uproar on August 31, when the biggest gun battle in four years between the two countries took place. Cannons and tanks exploded on a hillside during a simulated counterattack against a simulated attack, Reuters reported.

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Harsh, sometimes dangerous military exercises have long been a part of life at geopolitical points around the world. However, in an increasingly affluent and densely populated South Korea, some residents' patience with such exercises is dwindling.

US-South Korean Military Exercise Triggers Riots to Make Locals Angry

Quoted from Zing News, Mr. Lee Ung-su has lived in Pocheon since his birth. he said “Back then, we were still poor, so even if we had tanks shooting in our ears, we would just take shells and sell them for a living. Now with a higher standard of living, I have come here to protest the noise and environmental problems caused by exercise."

Mr. Lee adorned the garden with used bullet casings and machine gun casings that had fallen from the training ground decades ago. It's rare to find bullets like this one these days, but Lee said safety remained a major concern as several gunshots from helicopter gunships damaged several homes.

US Army Colonel Brandon Anderson, who oversaw the Aug. 31 exercise, said it was investigating the concerns, noting that the military had suspended the drill while the school was testing.

However, Mr Anderson said locals also wanted the military to be always ready for danger. “Military training will ensure this. Unfortunately, the training is very noisy," he said.

Mr. Lee and several other citizens understand this, but they hope that the practice will not interfere too much with daily life.

Residents near other training grounds also voiced their objections. Including a group of people who petitioned to relocate or close the shooting range in Pohang. Protesters are particularly interested in Apache attack helicopters.

Due to the complaint, the vehicle has been banned from firing inside Pocheon since 2019. However, this year the Apache was allowed to re-use it for a short period of time. A US spokesman said this was a one-off event and helicopters do not operate regularly here.

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