Korea, US set for naval mine warfare drill

By Yonhap
  • Published : Oct 11, 2017 - 15:57
  • Updated : Oct 11, 2017 - 15:57
South Korea's Navy said Wednesday it will soon begin a joint naval mine warfare exercise with the United States off the peninsula's southeastern coast.

The two sides plan to kick off the weeklong training Saturday following a related symposium hosted by Rear Adm. Brad Cooper, who commands US Naval Forces Korea, it added.

The three-day forum, which starts Thursday, will be joined by representatives from nine other countries -- South Africa, New Zealand, Britain, Japan, Canada, Thailand, Turkey, Australia and the Philippines.

The USS Chief (MCM-14), an Avenger-class mine countermeasures ship of the US Navy, is shown here in this photo provided by US Naval Forces Korea. (Yonhap)

The mine warfare practice to be staged in waters near the port city of Jinhae, South Gyeongsang Province, will involve more than 10 South Korean vessels, including the 3,000-ton Nampo minelayer and two 1,400-ton US mine countermeasures ships: Chief and Pioneer.

Among other assets to be mobilized are P-3 maritime patrol aircraft and MH-53E choppers.

Canada and the Philippines, along with South Korea and the US, will also have their Explosive Ordnance Disposal teams taking part in the drills, which are aimed at improving combined mine warfare capabilities.

"Mines laid by an enemy badly hamper the navigation of ships and the deployment of additional combined forces," Rear Adm. Kim Jong-sam, commander of the Navy's mine warfare unit, pointed out.

He added that the allies will sharpen their skills in the field through their joint training, the second of its kind. The two sides conducted a similar exercise last year. (Yonhap)