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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

S Korea to hold anti-submarine drill Thursday: media

SEOUL, May 25 -- South Korea will hold an anti- submarine drill this week in waters off the west coast of the Korean Peninsula, Seoul's Yonhap News Agency on Tuesday quoted Navy officials as saying.

It will be the first navy drill after Seoul government announced to take firm countermeasures on Monday in response to the recent sinking of its warship Cheonan by the Democratic People 's Republic of Korea (DPRK)'s alleged torpedo attack.

The drill, due on Thursday in waters off the county of Taean, about 150 km southwest of Seoul, will be participated by a total of 10 warships, including a 3,500-ton class destroyer and three patrol ships. It will also involve anti-submarine bombs and naval guns, according to Yonhap.

The South Korean government said on Monday it will hold military drills aimed at deterring further aggression of the DPRK, as part of a series of countermeasures to deal with the incident.

Seoul is planning to hold anti-submarine drills with the United States off the west coast of the Korean peninsula, the scene of the naval tragedy, and to hold military exercises aimed at deterring proliferation of Pyongyang's weapons of mass destruction, Defense Minister Kim Tae-young said in a joint briefing.

The country will no longer allow DPRK-flagged vessels in the South's territorial waters and forcibly return them in case ships do not comply with the measure, while it immediately resumes anti- Pyongyang propaganda activities, Kim added.

South Korea last week announced the outcome of investigations over the Cheonan incident made by a multinational team, which said the warship that went into waters near a tense maritime border with the DPRK on March 26 was torpedoed by the DPRK.

Forty-six crew members were killed in the tragic incident.

The DPRK immediately rejected Seoul's claims that it sank the warship by a submarine, and said it will dispatch inspectors to South Korea to verify Seoul's claim. But Seoul has yet replied to Pyongyang's demand.

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