US, S. Korea, Britain to hold naval exercises in East China Sea

SEOUL — South Korea said Thursday that it would proceed with a joint naval exercise with the United States and Britain, amid tensions over China's declaration of an air defence zone over the East China Sea.

The manoeuvres will be carried out on Sunday and Monday off the southern coast of South Korea, a Defence Ministry spokesman said.

The exercises were planned with the US long ago, the spokesman said, and should not be regarded as a protest against China's establishment of an air defence identification zone in late November.

A British warship currently moored at the harbour in Pusan is joining the exercises.

South Korea and its US ally carry out regular joint military exercises on land, sea and air, designed primarily to guard against threats from North Korea.

US Vice President Joe Biden is due to arrive in Seoul later Thursday after meeting heads of state in Tokyo and Beijing to discuss China's ADIZ.

The White House has described the new ADIZ as "provocative" and "uncoordinated."

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