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S. Korea takes part in U.S.-led multilateral anti-submarine exercise

North Korea 15:31 January 21, 2020

SEOUL, Jan. 21 (Yonhap) -- South Korea has participated in a U.S.-led anti-submarine exercise, along with Japan and other partner nations, in waters off the coast of Guam, officials said Tuesday.

The Exercise Sea Dragon, which began Monday and will last through the end of this month, also involving Australia and New Zealand, was designed to enhance the countries' maritime patrol relationship and build anti-submarine warfare proficiency, according to the officials.

It is the first time that South Korea partook in this exercise, a Navy official said, adding the Navy sent its P-3C patrol aircraft.

The exercise comes amid concern that North Korea could launch an advanced type of submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM). The communist country fired a Pukguksong-3 SLBM in October 2019 as the latest such test and pledged earlier this year to show off a "new strategic weapon" in the near future.

The North is also believed to have been building a new submarine at its Sinpo shipyard on the east coast, which is estimated to be in the final stages of construction.

Shown in this photo provided by the South Korean Navy on Feb. 17, 2016, is its P-3 patrol aircraft (L) and the U.S. Navy's P-8 aircraft conducting a joint anti-submarine exercise. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)


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