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US, S.Korea military exercise to snub N.Korea

world Updated: Jun 02, 2010 11:50 IST
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The US and South Korea will hold military exercises in the Yellow Sea next week to send a "strong signal" to North Korea, a media report said today.

The drills, to be held between June 8-11, are intended to show North Korea a "firm combined defence posture" of Washington and Seoul, South Korea's Yonhap news agency quoted a defence official as saying on condition of anonymity.

Relations between the two Koreas soured after Seoul accused Pyongyang of sinking the 1,200-tonne Cheonan vessel on March 26 near the disputed maritime border in the Yellow Sea, causing the death of 46 sailors.

An investigation conducted by international experts later confirmed the suspicion that the ship was destroyed by a torpedo launched from a North Korean submarine.

The South Korean official said the US would mobilise its nuclear-powered 97,000-tonne carrier USS George Washington along with a destroyer and a nuclear submarine, while

South Korea would deploy a 4,500-tonne destroyer, a submarine and F-15K fighter jets.

During the exercise, canons would be fired, anti-submarine bombs dropped and enemy communications intercepted "in a way similar to actual warfare", the official said.

In May, the South Korean Navy conducted anti-submarine drills in the Yellow Sea, involving 10 warships and practised live artillery firing and dropping anti-submarine depth charges, he said.

North Korea, angered by Seoul's accusations, had declared it was cutting all ties with South Korea, while the South is seeking new sanctions against the North over the attack.