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S. Korean marines join U.S.-led maritime exercise

All Headlines 11:19 June 01, 2012

SEOUL, June 1 (Yonhap) -- A platoon of South Korean marines has left for Hawaii to take part in a major U.S.-led exercise in the Pacific Ocean for the first time, the Marine Corps said Friday.

The biennial Rim of the Pacific Exercise (RIMPAC) is set to start in and around the Hawaiian Islands from June 29 to Aug. 3, with 22 nations and 25,000 personnel participating.

The Marine Corps has sent observers to the exercise since 2000 but this is the first time for its combatant troops to join the RIMPAC, billed as the world's largest maritime exercise.

The Korean marines will carry out joint exercises in a range of scenarios from maritime security operations to sea control, as well as search and rescue operations, the Marine Corps said.

Led by the aircraft carrier USS Nim­itz, 42 ships, six submarines and more than 200 aircraft will participate in the exercise, according to the U.S. military.

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