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(LEAD) S. Korean Navy to hold Dokdo defense drill

All News 09:39 June 15, 2017

(ATTN: UPDATES with details from 5th para; ADDS photo)

SEOUL, June 15 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's Navy announced Thursday that it will hold an exercise this week on defending the country's easternmost islets of Dokdo.

The two-day training to kick off later in the day is part of efforts to defend Dokdo from the possible aggression of "outside forces," the Navy said.

It was apparently referring to Japan, which claims the sovereignty over the Seoul-controlled islets in the East Sea.

This week's practice will involve seven warships of the Navy and the Coast Guard in addition to four naval and Air Force aircraft.

A unit of marines will also stage a landing drill on Dokdo, according to a source.

The Dokdo defensive exercise is a regular event held twice a year since 1986, based on the scenario of an external threat.

Japan has strongly protested the drill.

An image of the South Korean Navy's drill aimed at defending Dokdo, a set of islets in the East Sea, in a photo provided by Yonhap News TV. (Yonhap)

lcd@yna.co.kr
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