S. Korean destroyers head to Hawaii for joint maritime drill

By Xinhua,

Seoul : Two South Korean Navy destroyers on Monday headed to Hawaii where they will take part in a biennial joint exercise with naval forces from nine other nations, including the United States, Canada and Japan, the Navy said.

Support TwoCircles

The 4,500-ton Munmudaewang and the 3,000-ton Yangmanchun will arrive in Hawaii later this month for the start of the Rim of the Pacific Exercise (RIMPAC), according to the Navy. The exercise lasts from June 29 until July 31.

Hosted by the U.S. Third Fleet, RIMPAC is the largest maritime exercise in the world. This year’s participants also include Australia, Britain, Peru, Chile, Singapore and the Netherlands, the Navy said in a press release.

“The Navy will do its utmost to make the most out of the exercise by increasing its joint operations capabilities through joint maneuver exercises with the multi-national forces while also improving its independent combat capabilities,” Vice Adm. Park Jung-hwa, commander of the Navy Operations Command, said in a statement marking the departure of the two destroyers.

Started in 1971, the maritime exercise mainly seeks to secure safe routes for vessels in the Pacific by increasing the joint combat capabilities of the nations, the Navy said.

In addition to the two destroyers, other naval and aerial forces, including the 1,200-ton submarine Yisunshin, patrol combat corvettes and anti-submarine attack helicopters will participate in the joint exercise, it said.