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US Defense Secretary Robert Gates, is in South Korea, ahead of a four-day joint military exercise between the two countries, this one dubbed "Invincible Spirit".
According to South Korea the exercise is meant to send a clear message to the DPRK about the strong will of the South Korea-US alliance.
US Defense Secretary Robert Gates met his South Korean counterpart on Tuesday. They are pushing ahead with a series of military exercises over the weekend as part of efforts to show their military presence.
Shortly after the meeting, military spokespersons for both sides gave a news conference.
They said the drills are designed to send a clear message to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, over the tense situation on the Korean peninsula.
Kim Kyung-shik, S. Korean Navy Official, said, "The purpose of this kind of military exercise is to send a clear message to North Korea about the strong will of the South Korea-US alliance. Our exercises will consist of various overall training to prepare for North Korea's various provocation coming from its military force and to prepare for other regular warfare."
John Mcdonald, US Forces Korea Official, said, "...So we will have exercises in whichever sea that the ROK and the US alliance decided to do, and you will see that those come in the future."