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Navy chief inspects maritime combat readiness along east coast

All Headlines 17:14 August 25, 2016

SEOUL, Aug. 25 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's Navy chief on Thursday ordered all maritime units guarding the East Sea to be fully combat ready against unexpected submarine infiltration by North Korea.

Adm. Jung Ho-sub, South Korea's chief of naval operations, made the call as he visited the Navy's 1st Fleet based in Donghae, 279 kilometers east of Seoul.

South Korea's naval forces along with their Army and Air Force counterparts are currently participating in the South Korea-U.S. annual joint exercise Ulchi Freedom Guardian (UFG) to maintain their combined forces' readiness against North Korea's potential aggression.

"There is a high likelihood that North Korea will make additional provocations to heighten military tension in this region," Jung said during a meeting with key naval officers of the fleet.

He said the South Korean navy should establish a full readiness posture to deal firmly with North Korean provocations. The flag officer then said there is a need to make the correct analysis of any movement of enemy forces in advance.

"The enemy has always launched provocations in a manner that is hard for us to predict," the navy chief said, ordering anti-submarine forces in the Navy to increase their capability to better work with each other through practical education and training.

"If the enemy's submarines launch provocations, do not fail to track them down and destroy them," the four-star commander noted.

The allies' UFG exercise, which Pyongyang criticizes as a rehearsal for an invasion, began its two-week run on Monday. In an apparent protest against the drill, the North fired off a submarine-launched ballistic missile on Wednesday.

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