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Navy joins U.S.-led four-nation maritime exercise in Pacific

Defense 13:46 July 05, 2021

SEOUL, July 5 (Yonhap) -- The Navy has joined a U.S.-led multinational maritime exercise in Australian waters to hone cooperative operation skills at sea, officials said Monday.

The navies of South Korea, the United States, Japan and Australia kicked off the Pacific Vanguard maritime exercise off Australia's east coast Monday, which is to continue through Saturday, according to the officials.

The Korean Navy dispatched the 4,400-ton Wang Geon destroyer, involving 200 crew members to engage in a range of drills, including an anti-submarine operation and a simulated battle, they added.

"We've taken part in the exercise since 2019 to boost the capabilities of combined operations and ensure interoperability," a Navy official said.

Some say the exercise is to better guard against China, but the Navy said it is "not meant to target specific nations."

South Korea also plans to take part in the large-scale Talisman Sabre naval exercise later this month, which will bring together the U.S., Australia, Britain, Japan, Canada and New Zealand, officials said.

This photo from the website of the United States Seventh Fleet shows the naval forces of South Korea, the United States, Japan and Australia engaged in a joint maritime exercise in the Pacific waters near Guam, which ran from Sept. 11-13, 2020. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

graceoh@yna.co.kr
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