Sunday, September 5, 2010

Typhoon Forces Unspecified Delay in U.S.-S. Korea Exercises

A U.S.-South Korean naval exercise aimed at deterring North Korea following its alleged attack on the South Korean corvette Cheonan has been postponed due to an approaching typhoon, according to a report Sept. 4.

But Seoul's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said the maneuvers had been put off as Typhoon Malou, which was located off southern Japan on Sept. 4, is expected to hit South Korea early next week, Yonhap news agency said.

New dates for the exercises will be announced later, according to the report.

The anti-submarine drill, denounced by North Korea as a preparation for war, is to be the latest show of force since Seoul and Washington accused Pyongyang in May of sending a submarine to torpedo the warship, killing 46 sailors.

South Korea has also held its own naval drills since May, and the two allies went ahead last month with a regularly scheduled land-based exercise.

The U.S. will send two guided-missile destroyers, an ocean surveillance ship, a fast-attack submarine and P-3C Orion surveillance planes, the statement said.

South Korea will mobilize four destroyers, at least one frigate, P-3C planes and a submarine, Seoul's Joint Chiefs of Staff said, adding that a total of 1,700 personnel from the two countries will take part.

North Korea vehemently denies involvement in the sinking of Cheonan in March. It has warned of possible retaliation for the naval drills.

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