SEOUL, Aug. 18 (Xinhua) -- South Korea and the United States will hold large-scale joint antisubmarine drills in waters off the west coast of the Korean Peninsula early next month, Seoul's Yonhap News Agency Wednesday quoted the country's defense ministry as saying.
The two allies will conduct joint antisubmarine drills in the Yellow Sea in early September, Seoul's Ministry of National Defense said in a joint statement with the U.S. side.
But the details of the drills, including the exact date and military assets to be mobilized, are still under discussion, it added.
The upcoming drills, with an aim to improve the two allies' antisubmarine combat capability, will be "defensive in nature", it said.
The drills will follow two sets of large-scale joint military exercises recently held by Seoul and Washington in South Korea, under a framework agreed by top diplomats and defense officials from the two countries in late July.
At the so-called "two plus two" security talks, the two allies' foreign and defense ministers decided to stage a series of joint military drills, as countermeasures against the sinking of the South Korean warship Cheonan in March, which left 46 sailors dead. Seoul accused the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) of torpedoing the warship, but Pyongyang denies its involvement.
After their four-day joint military drills, code-named " Invincible Spirit", in waters off the east coast of the divided Korean Peninsula late July, the two allies currently are carrying out 11-day war games dubbed the "Ulchi Freedom Guardian" (UFG).
On its part, Pyongyang has warned of counteractions against the UFG, criticizing it for heightening tension. It recently promised to deliver a "merciless counterblow" against the war games.
- S. Korea to stage anti-submarine drills 2010-08-05