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S. Korea, U.S. to begin naval drills in Yellow Sea Sunday

All Headlines 11:56 August 31, 2010

SEOUL, Aug. 31 (Yonhap) -- South Korea and the United States will start another round of joint naval exercises Sunday off the Korean Peninsula's west coast, aimed at sending a signal of deterrence to North Korea, a military source here said Tuesday.

The upcoming exercises, scheduled to continue through next Thursday off the Yellow Sea, are the second in a series of military maneuvers South Korea and the U.S. have held or plan to hold in response to the March 26 sinking of one of its warships by North Korea.

"South Korea and the U.S. agreed to hold the Yellow Sea joint drills on Sept. 5-9," the source said on the condition of anonymity.

"The exercises will focus on anti-submarine warfare tactics, including detecting and destroying North Korean submarines," the source said.

The U.S. will send two Aegis destroyers to the September drills with several South Korean ships, including a 1,200-ton submarine, taking part, according to the source.

A South Korea-led multinational probe concluded in May that a torpedo fired by a midget North Korean submarine sank the Cheonan warship near the Yellow Sea border in March, killing 46 sailors.

China has strongly opposed the planned South Korea-U.S. joint exercises, saying the drills would aggravate tension on the Korean Peninsula.

Last month's joint South Korea-U.S. exercises off the peninsula's east coast drew about 20 ships, including the 97,000-ton aircraft carrier USS George Washington, some 200 aircraft and about 8,000 military personnel.

kdh@yna.co.kr
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