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U.S. to send strategic assets to military drill with S. Korea

2017/02/14 10:38

SEOUL, Feb. 14 (Yonhap) -- The United States will send its strategic assets to a joint military exercise with South Korea next month as North Korea has escalated tensions with its latest missile launch, a Seoul official said Tuesday.

"The two sides have agreed to send U.S. strategic assets, such as the F-22 stealth fighters and a nuclear-powered submarine, one by one to the Key Resolve and Foal Eagle exercises in March," the military official familiar with the matter told Yonhap News Agency.

In a report to lawmakers, the Ministry of National Defense said, "We are in talks with the U.S. to determine the size of U.S. strategic assets to be deployed and the range of their exposure to local media."

   The move is to show the allies' full readiness and combat capabilities against the North's evolving nuclear and missile threats in the "biggest-ever" joint exercise, the ministry said.

The North test-fired a newly developed intermediate-range ballistic missile Sunday morning in its first provocation since the inauguration of U.S. President Donald Trump.

The launch came after North Korean leader Kim Jong-un last month threatened to test-fire an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching the U.S. mainland.