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US Nuke Carrier to Arrive in S. Korea for Drill

Posted June. 02, 2010 18:29,   


The U.S. nuclear-powered aircraft carrier George Washington will reportedly arrive in the Yellow Sea early next week for a large-scale anti-submarine drill with the South Korean Navy.

A diplomatic source in Seoul said Tuesday, “The USS George Washington of the U.S. Navy`s 7th Fleet will depart from its base in the Japanese port of Yokosuka around Saturday,” adding, “Since it takes about two days to reach the Yellow Sea from there, the carrier will arrive in the Yellow Sea early next week for a large-scale anti-submarine drill jointly with the South Korean Navy.”

Washington decided to deploy combat troops from the 7th Fleet to stage a military protest in response to North Korea’s sinking of the South Korean naval vessel Cheonan March 26.

The source said, “After agonizing over which unit of the 7th Fleet to mobilize, the Pentagon decided to dispatch the aircraft carrier, the core force of the fleet’s combat capability, given that the operation is intended to protest the North Korean attack.”

"The George Washington will form a battle fleet of an aircraft carrier to comprise an Aegis cruiser and Aegis destroyer to participate in the drill.”

Seoul and Washington had originally planned to conduct their joint drill in late June or early July, but advanced the schedule by about a month. Analysts in and out of the South Korean military say both sides seek to pressure the North at a time when Seoul is close to referring the Cheonan sinking to the U.N. Security Council and international sanctions on Pyongyang are inevitable.

In the exercise, the submarines of the two allies will likely maneuver and conduct a reciprocal search (tracing) operation before the tracked submarine emerge from the water to simulate a situation of being attacked and destroyed. The navies of the two nations will also likely hold a drill in which they consider a deserted vessel as an enemy ship and have a submarine fire a torpedo at it.

A Seoul military source said the drill will entail a bombing exercise in which a destroyer launches a mine to destroy an enemy submarine underwater.