S. Korea-U.S. begin 2nd day of joint drill, focus on anti-submarine exercises
By Kim Deok-hyun
SEOUL, July 26 (Yonhap) -- South Korea and the U.S. plan to hold anti-submarine exercises Monday during their second day of large-scale joint military drills in the East Sea, officials said.
Led by U.S. aircraft carrier, the USS George Washington, about 20 ships, 200 aircraft and 8,000 military personnel from the two allies are staging the four-day naval and air readiness exercises from Sunday in a show of force against North Korea for its sinking of a South Korean warship.
"Today, we plan to conduct exercises aimed at better detecting intrusions by an enemy's submarines and attacking them," said an official for the South's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS).
Monday's exercises will consist of simulated attacks on enemy submarines, and a squadron of fighter jets plans to hold live-fire drills off the eas coast later in the day, the official said, requesting anonymity.
Officials said the drills are being conducted in international waters far off Ulleung Island, about 120 kilometers east of the Korean Peninsula and far south of the North's waters.
On Saturday, the North's powerful National Defense Commission warned it will "start a retaliatory sacred war" of its own style at "any time necessary" to counter the drills, accusing South Korea and the U.S. of "deliberately pushing the situation to the brink of a war."
South Korea's military is closely monitoring the North's military, but no abnormal activities have been detected, the JCS official said.
Code-named "Invincible Spirit," the four-day drills are intended to show the allie's strong deterrence against the North, which is accused of torpedoing the Cheonan warship and killing 46 sailors in March.
South Korea deployed its 14,000-ton Dokdo amphibious landing ship, 4,500-ton KDX-II-class destroyers, the 1,800-ton Son Won-il-class submarine and F-15K fighter jets for this week's drills.