U.S., South Korea to start anti-submarine warfare exercise Monday
SEOUL — The United States and South Korea will hold an anti-submarine warfare exercise next week in the Yellow Sea, the second in a series of exercises prompted by the sinking of a South Korean ship six months ago.
The exercise, which kicks off Monday and wraps up Friday, is “designed to send a clear message of deterrence to North Korea,” according to a U.S. Forces Korea news release. A South Korean-led investigation team found that a North Korean torpedo fired from a submarine sank the Cheonan on March 26 near the disputed maritime border between the two Koreas in the Yellow Sea, known as the West Sea by Koreans.
North Korea has denied involvement in the sinking.
The exercise was initially scheduled to be held Sept. 5-9, but it was delayed because of a tropical storm.
U.S. Navy units participating in the exercise include the guided-missile destroyers USS John S. McCain and the USS Fitzgerald, both forward-deployed to Yokosuka, Japan; the USNS Victorious, an ocean surveillance ship; a fast-attack submarine; and P-3C Orion aircraft from Patrol Squadron NINE, home-ported at Kaneohoe Marine Corps Base in Hawaii.
Participating South Korean naval units include two destroyers, a fast frigate, a patrol craft, P-3C aircraft from Carrier Air Wing-Six, and a submarine.
The number of U.S. and South Korean troops participating in the exercise was not immediately available Friday.