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S. Korea to wrap up maritime drill to defend easternmost islets of Dokdo on Monday Updated: 2019-08-26 13:15:55 KST

South Korea's twice yearly maritime drill to defend the country's easternmost islets of Dokdo ends on Monday.
The drill, which involves the Navy, Marines, Air Force and Coast Guard, started on Sunday only four days after Seoul decided to pull out of its bilateral intel-sharing pact with Japan.

The size of the armed forces is double that of previous drills.
10 warplanes and 10 warships have been deployed, one of which is Seoul's first Aegis-equipped destroyer, Sejong the Great, included in the drill for the first time.
As soon as the exercise wraps up Monday afternoon, the government is to review the time and scale of their second drill of this year.

The drills usually take place in June and December every year, but the first drill was delayed until now due to concerns that it could worsen Seoul's relationship with Tokyo.
Some say the next drill could be held earlier than usual as Japan could voice its claims over Dokdo.

The drills, which were usually named 'Dokdo defense drill', were named 'East Sea territory defense exercise' this year.
The name change is to show that Seoul is keeping China and Russia in check as well.
Last month, a Russian airplane intruded into South Korean airspace over Dokdo twice and two Chinese and Russian aircraft entered South Korea's air defense identification zone.

The name 'East Sea territory defense exercise' reflects the military's determination to defend the country's territories in the East Sea and is likely to be used for the time being.
Oh Jung-hee, Arirang News.
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