Seoul, Beijing to hold joint exercise of their navies

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Seoul, Beijing to hold joint exercise of their navies

The navies of South Korea and China will hold joint a naval exercise and military talks this week in China, South Korea’s Navy said yesterday.

The navies will hold their fourth joint Search and Rescue Exercise, or SAREX, from Tuesday to Friday this week. The exercise will be held in waters off Ningbo and Shanghai, the South Korean Navy said.

The two navies have previously held the SAREX in 2005, 2007 and 2008. South Korea will deploy its 4,500-ton Wang Geon destroyer, and China will send a frigate to the exercise, the Navy added.

“Defense ministers of the two countries agreed to hold this exercise during South Korean Minister [of Defense] Kim Kwan-jin’s visit to Beijing in January,” the Navy said in a statement. “It will be a humanitarian exercise.”

The Navy here said the two countries will also hold talks on naval exchange and cooperation this week in China. They will discuss strengthening their humanitarian cooperation in areas such as naval search and rescue operations as well as holding similar meetings on a regular basis.

Rear Adm. Moon Byung-ok, commander of the Third Navy Fleet, will lead South Korea’s delegation, countered by Vice Adm. Xu Jianzhong, political commissar for China’s East Sea Fleet.

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