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S Korea to stage naval drill with US next week

The Aegis integrated naval weapon system will be part of the joint naval drill.

SEOUL (BNS): Amidst growing tension between the two Korea countries, South Korea will stage a massive joint naval drill with the United States in the Yellow Sea next week, the South Korean Defence Ministry said on Thursday.

The US Navy's nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS George Washington will set sail to Yellow Sea early next week to take part in the exercise from June 7-10, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency, quoting a defence ministry spokesman, said.

Besides the aircraft carrier, US will also send its Aegis destroyer and a nuclear-powered submarine, while South Korea will deploy a 4,500-ton destroyer, a submarine and F-15K fighter jets, the news report said.

The exercise will test their ability to fire cannons, drop anti-submarine bombs and intercept enemy communications, the report said quoting officials.

South Korea had, last week, staged an anti-submarine drill following the sinking of its warship 'Cheonan' in the Yellow Sea on May 26 in which 46 crew members were killed.

Investigation by an international team said that the warship was attacked by a North Korean torpedo, an allegation staunchly denied by that country.

In last week's day-long drill, ten warships and a 3,500-ton destroyer fired artillery and other naval guns and dropped anti-submarine bombs off Taean, about 150 kilometres south of Seoul.

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