SEOUL, Oct. 24 (Yonhap) -- South Korea and the United States have decided not to hold a joint naval drill, which was expected to take place in the Yellow Sea late this month, in consideration of geopolitical conditions ahead of an upcoming Seoul G-20 economic summit, defense sources said Sunday.
"For the time being, there will be no joint aircraft carrier strike group exercise that South Korea and the U.S. considered holding late this month," a high-level government source said, requesting anonymity. "A training involving a U.S. aircraft carrier will not be held within this year."
The allies initially planned to hold the exercise joined by USS George Washington of the Seventh Fleet based in Yokosuka, Japan, in the Yellow Sea in late October as part of a show of military force in response to North Korea's March 26 torpedo attack on a South Korean warship in the waters between China and the Korean Peninsula.
But the source said it is realistically difficult for South Korea and the U.S. to hold another large-scale naval exercise in the wake of their anti-submarine training from Sept. 27-Oct.1 in the Yellow Sea.
"No joint exercise will be held in either the Yellow Sea or the East Sea for the time being," the source added.
Another source said that the allies made the decision "in a bid not to unnecessarily antagonize neighboring countries" before the G-20 summit in Seoul from Nov. 11-12. China and North Korea respond sensitively to any naval exercise involving the U.S. in the Yellow Sea.
South Korea and the U.S. also postponed a large-scale landing exercise by their marine corps, slated to be held in the Yellow Sea late this month, until after the G-20 summit.
"The postponement of the training is not unrelated with the G-20 summit," a military official said. "It has not been decided either whether the exercise to be held in late November will take place in the Yellow Sea or the East Sea."
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