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U.S., South Korea Launch Massive New Military Exercises

South Korea Navy Sea Hawk helicopters aboard the aircraft carrier "USS George Washington" during July exercises
Tens of thousands of U.S. and South Korean troops have launched a new series of military exercises.

South Korea's Defense Ministry and the U.S. military said the 11-day drills, called "Ulchi Freedom Guardian," are computer-simulated war games that will involve about 56,000 South Korean soldiers and 30,000 U.S. troops in South Korea and elsewhere.

The new drills follow exercises that the United States and South Korea carried out last month that the two allies described as a show of unity in response to the sinking of a South Korean warship in March that killed 46 sailors.

Rival North Korea has denied allegations that it was involved in the sinking of the ship.

North Korea has threatened to retaliate against the current round of U.S.-South Korean exercises, calling the drills a rehearsal for a military invasion of the North.

The United States and South Korea say they have no plans to invade the Communist-led North.

compiled from agency reports