Staff, Yonhap News Agency
10 May 2016
SEOUL – South Korea will host a joint multinational submarine exercise in its southern seas later in the month, involving the United States, Japan and other Asian Pacific countries, the Navy here said Tuesday.
The Pacific Reach 2016 will kick off on May 25 for a 10-day run in the waters off South Korea's naval port city of Jinhae on the southeastern edge of the Korean Peninsula as well as around Jeju Island, the Navy said.
The rescue exercise will bring together submarines and rescue forces from five other countries: the U.S., Japan, Australia, Singapore and Malaysia.
Another 12 foreign countries, including China and Russia, will take part as observers, the Navy said.
The focus of the exercise is on increasing the participating countries' interoperability in submarine rescue operations which involve the deployment of deep-submergence rescue vehicles and pressurized rescue modules.
At the end of the exercise, the submarines will enter the Navy's base on Jeju Island for a closing ceremony, the first port call there by any foreign ship since the base opened in February.
The forthcoming exercise is the seventh of its kind since the multilateral event was launched in 2000 in Singapore. This is the second time South Korea is leading the drill after playing host in 2004.