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US-S Korean joint military drill to begin on July 25


US Navy's aircraft carrier USS George Washington will take part in the naval dril.

SEOUL (AFP): A major US-South Korean military exercise involving about 20 ships, 200 aircraft and 8,000 personnel will start Sunday in the Sea of Japan (East Sea) to deter North Korea, the US military said Tuesday.

The July 25-28 drill will highlight the resolve of the two countries “to face any threat North Korea may pose,” the US-led United Nations Command said in a statement.

The war games are a response to the sinking of a South Korean warship earlier this year, which Seoul and Washington blame on North Korea.

The announcement followed talks between visiting US Defence Secretary Robert Gates and the South's Defence Minister Kim Tae-Young.

The 97,000-ton aircraft carrier USS George Washington will be among the ships and submarines taking part, the statement said.

Some 8,000 army, air force, navy and marine personnel from the two countries will take part. The F-22 Raptor will fly training missions around Korea for the first time.

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