S. Korean special forces join regional anti-piracy exercise
Some 330 South Korean special forces troops took part in a regional anti-piracy exercise in the South China Sea region with 17 other countries, the defense ministry said Tuesday.
The maritime security exercise, which ran from May 1-12 in the waters between Singapore and Brunei, brought together special army and navy forces from the ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM-Plus), it said.
ADMM-Plus is a gathering of 10 ASEAN nations plus eight dialogue partners including South Korea, Japan, China, Russia and the United States.
South Korea’s Navy destroyer Choe Yeong also joined the regional exercise on its way back from a mission with South Korea’s anti-piracy troops, the Cheonghae Unit, stationed in the Gulf of Aden in the Arabian Sea off Somalia.
The latest joint exercise simulated a rescue mission on a merchant ship hijacked en route from a Brunei port to Singapore, the ministry said in a statement.
The simulation involved maritime and ground rescue operations to free hostages held in a hijacked vessel and a pirates’ base, it said.
“Our military boosted its anti-piracy capabilities, necessary in securing maritime traffic routes around the South China Sea and the enhanced interoperability of the combined forces’ anti-terror operations,” the ministry said.