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(LEAD) U.S. Carl Vinson to arrive in S. Korea in mid-March for joint drills

2017/03/03 13:30

(ATTN: UPDATES with more details in lead paras 3, 6; ADDS photo)

SEOUL, March 3 (Yonhap) -- The USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier will arrive in South Korean waters in mid-March to take part in an annual joint military exercise, the U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) said Friday.

"The USS Carl Vinson is expected to arrive in Busan around March 15 to participate in the Foal Eagle exercise," a USFK spokesman told reporters.

The South Korean and U.S. militaries on Wednesday kicked off the two-month field training exercise involving ground, air and naval forces. The U.S. supercarrier will make use of its air assets, as well as its escort ships in the maneuvers that aims to deter North Korean aggression.

Separately, the allies plan to start the Key Resolve computer-simulated command post exercise on March 13 for a two-week run.

This file photo shows the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier during military drills in the South China Sea in May 2015. (Yonhap) This file photo shows the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier during military drills in the South China Sea in May 2015. (Yonhap)

The U.S. Air Force's F-35B stealth fighter will also take part in the ongoing war game to hone its precision ground strike capabilities, military officials said.

The U.S. is expected to deploy other strategic assets, such as the B-1B and B-52 bombers, with the tiltrotor V-22 Osprey to make an appearance, in a show of force against the North, which has stepped up its nuclear and missile threats.

Some 10,000 U.S. soldiers, including 3,600 from outside South Korea, and about 290,000 South Korean troops will join this year's Foal Eagle, the USFK and Seoul's defense ministry said.

kyongae.choi@yna.co.kr

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