S. Korea holds drills against possible DPRK infiltration

18:27, August 06, 2010      

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South Korean armed forces on Friday engaged in drills against possible maritime intrusion of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) on the second day of the five-day anti-submarine exercises in waters where its warship sank in March.

The drills on the first day were focused on tracking down enemy submarines, while Friday's drills are aimed at destroying them, local news reports said, citing military officials here. There are some 180,000 special operations troops in the DPRK that might attempt infiltrations, they reportedly said.

Seoul began the five-day exercise off the west coast of the divided Korean Peninsula, where one of its navy corvettes sank due to presumed Pyongyang's torpedo attack.

The DPRK has repeatedly denied its role in the sinking of the ship, which killed 46 South Korean sailors, and warned recently of a "powerful physical retaliation." South Korea dismissed the threat.

The large-scale naval drills, which involve 4,500 troops from the country's army, navy and air force, some 20 vessels and 50 fighter jets, are aimed at deterring further aggression from the DPRK but are "defensive" in nature, officials have said.

They come shortly after South Korea and the United States jointly staged naval and air drills in waters east of the peninsula, also as part of responses to the sinking of the warship. The two allies had pushed together for international condemnation of Pyongyang's presumed misconduct at the United Nations Security Council, leading to a presidential statement denouncing the attack.

Washington has said it is planning to send its aircraft carrier USS George Washington for future joint naval exercises in the Yellow Sea. Details on the return of the carrier, which led the massive joint drills in late July, were not offered.

Source: Xinhua


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