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(LEAD) Navy chief inspects maritime combat readiness in East Sea

All News 16:22 January 26, 2016

(ATTN: CORRECTS spelling of name and official title in para 2; ADDS background at bottom & photo)

SEOUL, Jan. 26 (Yonhap) -- The Navy chief ordered maritime forces Tuesday to stand with full combat readiness for the possibility of unexpected military provocations by North Korea.

"The enemy has always launched provocations in manners and timings that are hard for us to predict," Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jung Ho-sub said during his visit to the 1st Fleet based on the east coast.

Jung inspected the maritime defense posture of the maritime forces in the East Sea area during the visit which came after North Korea's latest nuclear test on Jan. 6 escalated military tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

"Forces should maintain a defense posture under which they could react immediately even in a highly unexpected emergency situation," the Navy chief said, aboard an Aegis destroyer patrolling the East Sea.

"If the enemy's submarines launch provocations, do not fail to track and sink them," the admiral noted.

The fourth nuclear test was based on a hydrogen bomb, the North said when it made the surprise announcement, but the outside world believes it must have been a conventional atomic bomb or a boosted fission bomb at best.

pbr@yna.co.kr
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