US, SoKor to launch ma­jor navy drill next week

The Philippine Star - - WORLD -

SEOUL (AFP) — The United States and South Korea will kick off a ma­jor navy drill next week, the US Navy said yes­ter­day, a fresh show of force against North Korea over its mis­sile and nu­clear tests.

Ten­sions over North Korea’s weapons pro­gram 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 re­gional 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 in the Sea of Ja­pan and the Yel­low Sea, would pro­mote “com­mu­ni­ca­tions, in­ter­op­er­abil­ity, 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.

AFP

The USS Michi­gan, a nu­clear-pow­ered sub­ma­rine, ar­rives in Bu­san, South Korea yes­ter­day.

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