(ATTN: UPDATES with B-1B sortie plan, NK missile assessment from 5th para)
SEOUL, Sept. 18 (Yonhap) -- The United States plans to send an aircraft carrier to waters near the Korean Peninsula next month for a joint training with South Korea's Navy, the defense ministry said Monday.
In a report to the National Assembly, the ministry said the allies will hold the exercise in October involving "the U.S. aircraft carrier strike group."
It did not reveal the name of the carrier.
South Korea and the U.S. will also conduct a combined missile alert drill joined by Japan between late September and early October, according to the ministry.
The U.S. is expected to dispatch B-1B strategic bombers stationed in Guam to Korea later this month in a warning to the North.
It briefed lawmakers on the military's response to the North's latest ballistic missile launch.
On Friday, the North fired an intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) eastward. It flew around 3,700 kilometers, traveling over northern Japan.
On the North's missile technology, the ministry said it appears to "have come close to the final stage" of developing an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).
It raised the possibility that the communist regime will push for "additional strategic" provocations, such as the launch of more ballistic missiles and a seventh nuclear test.
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