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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

China Warily Eyes U.S.-Korea Drills - NYTimes.com

China Warily Eyes U.S.-Korea Drills - NYTimes.com: "SEOUL, South Korea — The United States and South Korea announced Tuesday that the first in a series of large-scale naval exercises off Japan and the Korean Peninsula would begin next week, despite objections from China.

The exercises, they said, are meant as a show of force and a “first step” in trying to deter North Korea from acts of aggression in the region, nearly four months after the sinking of a South Korean warship for which the United States and South Korea have blamed the North.

The first of the exercises, to be conducted from Sunday to Wednesday on the Sea of Japan, to the east, is to include an American aircraft carrier — the nuclear-powered George Washington, one of the largest warships in the world — 20 other ships and submarines, and 100 aircraft. It will involve 8,000 men and women from the American and South Korean armed services.

The Defense Department said that later exercises would be conducted on the Yellow Sea, which is on the western side of the Korean Peninsula and is claimed by China as a military operations zone. Adm. Robert F. Willard, the commander of the United States Pacific Command, and American military officials would not say whether those exercises would include the George Washington." More...

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