Posted July. 21, 2010 11:28,
South Korea and the U.S. will begin Sunday the joint naval drill Invincible Spirit in the East Sea and in the air for four days.
Defense Minister Kim Tae-young and U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced a joint statement Tuesday after holding talks at the Defense Ministry in Seoul.
The two said in a statement, We agreed to conduct a series of joint military exercises in the East Sea and the Yellow Sea for several months. The two countries will further develop detailed plans through close consultation for future exercises.
This exercise is defensive. It is to deliver a clear message that North Korea must cease hostile activities.
Some 8,000 personnel from the armed forces will participate along with 20 ships including the USS George Washington and 200 airplanes including the new F-22 Raptor. This will also be the first time that the F-22 deployed at the U.S. Air Force Base in Kadena, Okinawa, will take part in a drill on the Korean Peninsula.
The two defense chiefs agreed that U.S. forces will stay in South Korea and remain at 28,500 personnel. They also reconfirmed deterrence against North Korea under the U.S. nuclear umbrella.
The statement added that given their 60-year blood alliance, the two countries will be committed to tackling any threat from North Korea.