Joint US-South Korea drill delayed

South Korean media says military exercise postponed indefinitely due to threat from the approaching Typhoon Malou.

    North Korea has denounced the planned anti-submarine dril as a preparation for war [EPA/US Navy]

    A US-South Korean naval exercise aimed at deterring North Korea has been postponed due to an approaching typhoon, according to local media.

    The joint drill had been scheduled to start on Sunday, following North Korea's alleged attack on a South Korean warship earlier this year.

    The manoeuvre was put off as Typhoon Malou was expected to hit South Korea early next week, the official Yonhap news agency cited South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff as saying.

    The typhoon was located off southern Japan on Saturday.

    New dates for the joint exercise would be announced later, Yonhap said.

    Warfare capabilities

    The planned five-day exercise in the Yellow Sea is the second in a series of joint exercises "designed to send a clear message of deterrence" to North Korea while improving anti-submarine warfare capabilities, the US Forces Korea said in a statement.

    The anti-submarine drill, denounced by the North 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 a South Korean warship, killing 46 sailors.

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

    Guided-missile destroyers

    The US will send two guided-missile destroyers, an ocean surveillance ship, a fast-attack submarine and P-3C Orion surveillance aircraft, the US Forces Korea said.

    South Korea will mobilise four destroyers, at least one frigate, P-3C planes and a submarine, South Korea's joint chiefs of staff said.

    He said a total of 1,700 personnel from the two countries will take part.

    North Korea vehemently denies involvement in the sinking of the South's ship in March, and warned of possible retaliation for the naval drills.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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