South Korea and U.S. Conduct Large-Scale Maritime Drills in Yellow Sea

SEOUL, - South Korea and the United States are holding a large-scale maritime exercise in the Yellow Sea to fortify their mutual defense posture and operational interoperability, South Korea's Navy announced on Thursday.

According to a new release by the Yonhap News Agency, the drills commenced on Tuesday for a four-day run and involve naval, air force, army, and coast guard units from South Korea, as well as U.S. Navy and Army forces. The exercises are part of the annual Hoguk field training exercise and are taking place in waters west of Taean, approximately 110 kilometers southwest of Seoul.

The drills feature about 30 warships, including a destroyer equipped with the Aegis combat system, maritime surveillance aircraft, and helicopters. These forces are coordinating with units from the South Korean Army's coast guard, the Air Force's fighter jets, and the Coast Guard's vessels. The U.S. Navy has contributed its P-8 maritime patrol aircraft, and the U.S. Army has deployed Apache helicopters to the exercise.

The South Korean and U.S. forces are staging defense operations near the inter-Korean maritime border, aiming to bolster their combined and joint operational capabilities in response to potential provocations from North Korea, the Navy said.

These drills follow another exercise named Silent Shark, conducted earlier this month off the coast of Guam. That exercise focused on enhancing the anti-submarine warfare capabilities of South Korean and U.S. forces against potential threats from North Korea.

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