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US's Aegis destroyers may take part in Yellow Sea naval drill

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The Aegis combat system. A file photo

SEOUL (BNS): Next month's naval drill between South Korea and US will be significantly “scaled down” keeping in mind China’s protests against such exercises in the Yellow Sea.

“South Korea and the US have reached a common understanding to conduct the joint anti-submarine drills on a small scale,” a South Korean Defence Ministry official was quoted as saying by the Yonhap news agency on Thursday.

The official said that US was unlikely send its large aircraft carrier USS George Washington this time to take part in the joint naval exercise. Instead, it is planning to send one or two Aegis destroyers for the drill.

“Given the nature of the upcoming drills for training anti-submarine warfare tactics and techniques, the USS George Washington is unlikely to be involved” in the September drills, the official said.

The nuclear-powered aircraft carrier had taken part in last month’s military exercises in the Sea of Japan. About 20 ships, 200 aircraft and 8,000 personnel participated in the wargames which was staged as a show of strength against North Korea.

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