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December 2, 2010 - Adelade

The United States and South Korea are planning to carry out more joint military exercises as early as this month, South Korea's military has said.

The announcement comes after the two sides wrapped up a four-day joint military exercise in the waters off the Korean coast on Wednesday.

A South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff officer said that Seoul and Washington are discussing when to conduct the new joint drills.

"Discussions are still under way on when and where the drill would take place and on what scale," Fox News quoted a spokesman, as saying.

Earlier, the US aircraft carrier, the USS George Washington, and four other US navy vessels were joined by South Korean destroyers, patrol vessels, frigates, support ships and anti-submarine aircraft in drills which took place about 125km south of the disputed maritime border between the two Koreas.

The US said that the exercises were defensive and designed to deter North Korea from launching further attacks across its border with South Korea.

North Korean artillery shells had killed two marines and destroyed several houses and other buildings on the South Korean island of Yeonpyeong last month.

The decision to send the aircraft carrier and navy vessels was taken by US President Barack Obama after talks with South Korean President Lee Myung-bak.

"South Korea is our ally. It has been since the Korean war and we strongly affirm our commitment to defend South Korea as part of that alliance," Obama had said.

"We strongly condemn the attack and we are rallying the international community to put pressure on North Korea," he added.

ANI

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