US and S. Korea to launch major navy drill next week
SEOUL: The United States and South Korea will kick off a major navy drill next week, the US navy said.
Tensions over North Korea’s weapons programme have soared in recent months with Pyongyang launching a flurry of missiles and conducting its sixth and most powerful nuclear test in defiance of multiple sets of UN sanctions.
The United States has since ramped up military drills with South Korea and Japan, its two closest allies in the region.
In a statement, the US 7th Fleet said the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier and two US destroyers would take part in the drill alongside South Korean Navy vessels.
The exercise, slated for Oct 16 to 26, would promote “communica- tions, inter-operability, and partnership,” the statement added.
The move will likely rile Pyongyang which had previously warned against any upcoming joint exercises.
“If US imperialists and the South Korean puppets ignite a nuclear war of aggression against us, it would only advance their own demise,” the state-run KCNA news agency said.
There has been a flurry of US military hardware movement around the Korean peninsula in recent days.
Yesterday the nuclear-powered
USS Michigan submarine arrived at South Korea’s southern port of Busan, according to Yonhap news agency, just days after another submarine – the USS Tuscon – left after a five day visit. — AFP