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US And South Korea Launch War Games

File photo: The conventionally-powered American aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk is maneuvered into position for docking upon its arrival in Sydney Harbour, 03 July 2005. Photo courtesy of AFP.
by Staff Writers
Seoul (AFP) Mar 27, 2006
South Korea and the United States on Saturday launched large-scale war games as North Korea accused them of rehearsing for a nuclear attack on the communist state.

Some 25,000 US troops backed by a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier are taking part in the week-long drill aimed at testing the capability of US and South Korean commanders to receive and deploy US reinforcements from abroad.

"The RSOI (Reception, Staging, Onward Movement and Integration) drill started today as planned," said an official with the US military who asked not to be named.

An unspecified number of South Korean troops are participating in the war games. The aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln and its accompanying flotilla will take part in the exercise for the first time, the official said.

The RSOI drill usually involves a US aircraft flotilla. Last year, the USS Kitty Hawk, based in Yokosuka, Japan, took part.

The RSOI is occurring simultaneously with another drill, Foal Eagle, which is focusing on rear echelon security and stability operations as well as deployment of troops and weapons.

South Korean and US officials say the two exercises are "defensive" in nature and aimed at deterring any North Korean military threat.

But Pyongyang's government daily, Minju Joson, said in an editorial on Saturday that the exercises are "a dangerous war gamble to invade the DPRK (North Korea) as they may go over to an actual war any moment".

Noting the participation of a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, it said the war games were "a test nuclear war, a preliminary war, to make a preemptive attack" on the North.

It urged South Korea to "stop the exercises with outsiders" if it really wants reconciliation and cooperation between the two Koreas.

Pyongyang called off high-level talks with South Korea over the war games, saying the drills would also set back efforts to end the standoff over North Korea's nuclear weapons program.

Six-party talks on the nuclear issue have been stalled since November last year after North Korea denied US charges that it was counterfeiting dollars and demanded that Washington lift financial sanctions imposed on Pyongyang.

Source: Agence France-Presse

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North Korean Leader Touts Burning Hatred Towards The US
Seoul (AFP) Mar 27, 2006
North Korea's top leader Kim Jong-Il has spoken of his Stalinist nation's "burning hatred" towards the United States amid ongoing US-South Korean war games. Kim's comments were made during his inspection of an army unit, the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said late Saturday.







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