Seoul conducts naval drills to honor fallen troops
Seoul, Mar 21 (EFE) .- The South Korean navy began Tuesday naval drills to honor its fallen troops in skirmishes with North Korea in the Yellow Sea following the end of the Korean War (1950-1953), according to a statement by the armed forces.
The exercises, which are unrelated to the ongoing Freedom Shield joint military maneuvers by South Korea and the US, will continue until Mar.24 in the waters surrounding the Korean peninsula.
The South Korean navy has mobilized about 20 warships, including the destroyer Eulji Mundeok, the frigate Seoul and the amphibious landing ship Dokdo, as well as some 20 aircraft, including several used for maritime surveillance.
The four days of drills will include anti-submarine exercises, as well as live-fire anti-ship and anti-aircraft exercises, according to the statement.
These exercises commemorate the 55 sailors killed in the Yellow Sea during the so-called Second Battle of Yeongpyeong in 2002 and by a torpedo launched by a North Korean submarine against the corvette Cheonan in 2010.
These exercises come at a time of heightened tension in the region, owing to the ongoing Freedom Shield exercises since Mar.13, which Pyongyang considers as rehearsals to invade its territory and to which it has responded so far with five missile launches.
The Korean peninsula is witnessing historic tensions since 2022, when Pyongyang, which has rejected offers to return to the negotiating table, carried out a record number of weapons tests.
The allied troops in response resumed their large-scale maneuvers and deployed nuclear-powered aircraft carriers or strategic bombers in the region. EFE