Joint drill planned in Yellow Sea called off

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Joint drill planned in Yellow Sea called off

A joint exercise between the U.S. and South Korea, which was scheduled to take place late this month in the Yellow Sea, will be cancelled, according to South Korean government sources yesterday.

“The joint exercise planned for late this month will not be happening for some time,” said a high-ranking government source.

The source added that there will be no military drills involving U.S. aircraft carriers this year.

The decision follows criticism from the Chinese government, which has previously expressed its disapproval of the deployment of nuclear-powered supercarrier USS George Washington.

Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said last month that the George Washington’s participation in the drill was “not an affront to the Chinese. It’s not meant to send a message to the Chinese.”

The joint exercise involving the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier had initially been planned as part of a series of drills to be held in response to the sinking of the South Korean warship, Cheonan.

South Korea blames North Korea for the sinking, while North Korea has denied the accusations.

South Korean government sources said that the decision to cancel the drill was made to avoid creating problems with China and North Korea ahead of next month’s G-20 Summit in Seoul.

Another military source added that there are “several limitations to holding another large-scale training drill after the joint antisubmarine drill held in the [Yellow Sea] from Sept. 27 to Oct. 1.”


By Christine Kim [christine.kim@joongang.co.kr]

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