South Korea, US begin massive joint anti-submarine drills
Iran Press TV
Mon Jun 1, 2015 9:28AM
South Korean and US forces have launched major anti-submarine military drills off South Korea's island of Jeju in response to what they call provocations by North Korean submarines.
The three-day naval drills, announced by South Korea's Defense Ministry on Monday, comes weeks after North Korea declared it had successfully test-fired a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM).
"This is the largest joint anti-submarine exercise the allies have ever staged, in terms of its scale and the number of vessels involved," said a Defense Ministry spokesman, whose name was not mentioned in the report.
The official further said that more than 10 warships, including a South Korean Aegis destroyer, as well as submarines, surveillance aircraft and helicopters would be utilized during the naval drills.
The ministry also announced that a separate joint live-fire exercise was being conducted with South Korean artillery units, naval vessels and warplanes just off the east coast of Goseong County, south of the border with North Korea.
The military maneuvers take place amid growing concerns in Washington and Seoul over what they perceive as the expansion of Pyongyang's nuclear arms and ballistic missile programs.
In addition to its launch of the SLBM, North Korea has recently revealed that it has gained the ability to miniaturize a nuclear warhead to fit on high-precision, long-range rockets.
North Korea has always expressed outrage over the joint military maneuvers by the neighboring South and the US in the region, describing them as the main source of tensions.
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