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Navy to replay Korean War naval battle

All Headlines 10:50 June 21, 2010

SEOUL, June 21 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's Navy said Monday it will stage an exercise this week to commemorate its first naval battle against North Korea on the second day of the Korean War.

The replay of the battle, which sank a North Korean steamer in waters off the South's southern port city of Busan on June 26, 1950, will be held on Friday, when the nation marks the 60th anniversary of the conflict's outbreak, Navy officials said.

About 13 warships, including a 14,000-ton landing ship, a destroyer and two submarines, will take part in the one-day drill to be held in waters off Busan, according to officials.

"The Navy will re-enact the battle by firing naval guns at a mock North Korean steamer to celebrate the victory," a Navy official said.

In the pre-dawn hours on June 26, 1950, a South Korean Navy patrol craft, the PC-701, sank an armed North Korean steamer with 600 troops in waters about 30 kilometers off Busan. Named the "Baekdusan," the PC-701 was built by the U.S. Navy in 1944 and purchased by funds raised by South Koreans and the Korean Navy personnel in 1949.

Tensions on the Korean Peninsula remain high after a multinational investigation blamed North Korea last month for torpedoing the Cheonan warship on March 26, killing 46 sailors.

The 1950-53 Korean War ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty, leaving the two Koreas still technically at war.

kdh@yna.co.kr
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