SEOUL — Marines from Okinawa and sailors from Japan will be among the participants in this year’s version of annual joint U.S.-South Korean war games scheduled to kick off March 19 at various locations on the peninsula.

According to U.S. and South Korean military officials, the Foal Eagle and Reception, Staging, Onward Movement and Integration (RSOI) exercises are scheduled to last one week and will involve the USS Kitty Hawk aircraft carrier, Marines on high speed transports and Stryker armored vehicles.

The two exercises, combined since 2002, together are the largest annual joint exercise for the two allies.

While the simulated enemy is never named, the exercise scenarios involve an enemy whose characteristics mirror those of North Korea.

In a statement released last week announcing the exercise, the Combined Forces Command — the U.S.-led joint warfighting command with South Korea — repeated its long-standing statement that the exercises are defensive in nature and intended to improve the ability to defend against an attack.

But, North Korea on Saturday repeated its also long-standing complaints about the exercise, calling it a prelude to an invasion.

“When making public the plan, the war hawks openly hinted that they would repeat in the projected exercises nearly all of the actions of last year’s maneuvers, in which they pressed close to the eve of a war, going beyond common sense,” the North’s official Korea Central News Agency said.

The two Koreas technically remain in a state of war, because the 1950s conflict between them ended with an armistice instead of a full peace treaty.

North Korea has stirred international concern by pursuing a nuclear weapons program, claiming last month it possesses nuclear weapons and that it was boycotting further negotiations.

The RSOI portion of this month’s exercise focuses on rear-area security and how forces coming from outside South Korea would be integrated into the battle.

It also covers logistics aspects of South Korean forces.

Lt. Cmdr. John Bernard, a Navy spokesman in Japan, confirmed the Kitty Hawk would be involved in the exercise.

Marine spokespeople on Okinawa also confirmed units from there would take part.

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