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India, S Korea to hold joint naval drill in Busan

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NEW DELHI (PTI): On a two month-long goodwill mission to countries in South China sea, a fleet of Indian Naval warships will conduct a joint training exercise with its South Korean counterparts on June 2 in Busan.

Commanded by Eastern Naval Commander Rear Admiral P Ajith Kumar, the fleet, which includes Guided Missile Stealth Frigate INS Shivalik and destroyer INS Rana, sailed-in to a port in Busan in South Korea on May 29, a statement from Indian Embassy in Seoul said on Thursday.

"The vessels sailed-in to an exceptionally warm welcome by the South Korean Navy. Two Korean kids dressed in traditional Hanboks also offered flowers to the Indian visitors," the statement said, adding that on June 2, a joint exercise would be held between the Indian and South Korean navies.

On May 30, Deputy Commander of the Korean Fleet Rear Admiral Kim, Dong-sik and other senior naval officials attended a reception on board the INS Shivalik.

Addressing the reception, Indian Ambassador to Seoul Vishnu Prakash hailed the growing security and defence cooperation between South Korea and India as reflective of a convergence of interests and challenges.

Elevation of bilateral relationship to strategic partnership in January 2010 has given a strong impetus to defence cooperation including, exchange of high level visits, port calls, information sharing, training, joint exercises and procurement of defence equipment, Prakash said.

Rear Admiral Ajith Kumar has also paid a courtesy call on Mayor of Busan Hur Nam-sik and senior officials in the Korean Navy and city administration the statement said.

"Sailors of both countries played a friendly soccer match. Members of the public and school children were invited to visit the Ships and witness a joint concert by the bands of Indian and Korean Navies," it added.

Following the completion of the joint exercise, the Indian fleet will sail for Tokyo in Japan.

The ships have already paid port calls at Singapore and Vietnam. On their return journey from Japan, they would also be visiting Shanghai in China and Malaysia.

The other two warships in the Indian fleet include Tanker and Replenishment Ship INS Shakti and Guided Missile Corvette INS Karmuk.

The exercise is being undertaken by the navy as part of the Long Range Overseas Deployment (LROD) of its fleet.

Tags:

India   S Korea  Navy  Exercise  
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