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Pentagon says deploying aircraft carrier for war games with ROK

11-25-2010 15:18 BJT

WASHINGTON, Nov. 24 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. Defense Department on Wednesday said it is deploying the USS George Washington aircraft carrier strike group to join the Republic of Korea (ROK)'s naval forces for joint exercises in waters off the west coast of the Korean Peninsula next week, but the drills were planned well in advance of incidents on the peninsula this week.

The drill will take place from Nov. 28 to Dec. 1. Pentagon spokesman Dave Lapan said on Wednesday during a press availability that the intent of the exercises is to "enhance our interoperability with the Republic of Korea, but also as a deterrent" to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK).

Lapan said the exercises were planned well in advance of the exchange of artillery fire between the ROK and the DPRK in waters off the west coast of the divided peninsula on Tuesday. They were announced at the 2-plus-2 meetings in July.

The ships taking part in the drills include USS George Washington with an embarked carrier air wing, the cruiser USS Cowpens, and the destroyers USS Lassen, USS Stethem and USS Fitzgerald. USS George Washington last exercised in the area in October 2009.

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Editor:Du Xiaodan |Source: Xinhua

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