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June 19, 2012

N. Korea warns over South Korea-U.S. drill

The U.S., South Korea and Japan plan to hold naval exercises south of the Korean Peninsula in waters past any territorial boundaries. (UPI/Adam K. Thomas/US Navy)

SEOUL (UPI) -- South Korea says a military drill Friday near the North Korean border will demonstrate how the military would react if invaded by North Korea, officials said

The United States will participate in a live-fire exercise in Pocheon Friday involving more than 2,000 troops, as well as fighter jets and Apache helicopters, Yonhap News Agency reported Monday. The drill will mark the upcoming 62nd anniversary of the Korean War, which started June 25, 1950, the South Korean news agency said.

The United States, Japan and South Korea also plan to hold a two-day naval exercise Thursday and Friday south of the Korean Peninsula in waters past any territorial boundaries, the U.S. Defense Department said last week.

The exercise will involve the U.S. aircraft carrier, the USS George Washington.

North Korean officials said the drills represent "military provocations" and accused the United States of building up arms in South Korea.

"The DPRK [North Korea] is watching with high vigilance the U.S. preparations for war being expanded in a phased manner. It will increase its self-defense capabilities in every way to protect sovereignty and dignity of the country and nation," a spokesman at the North's foreign ministry said in a report carried by its official Korean Central News Agency, Yonhap reported.

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