Indian ships reach South Korea for joint exercise

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New Delhi, April 28 (IANS) Indian naval ships Kolkata and Shakti on Sunday arrived at South Korea’s Busan to participate in the ADMM-Plus Maritime Security Field Training Exercise (FTX) as part of deployment of the Eastern Fleet to the South China Sea, said an official statement.

The ships were welcomed into the harbour by officials from Republic of Korea Navy on arrival, it said, adding the exercise demonstrated India’s ‘Act East’ policy and Indian Navy’s increasing footprint and operational reach.

“During the visit, the Indian ships will have professional interaction with ADMM-Plus Navies towards further enhancing co-operation between the navies,” the statement said.

“In addition, calls on senior government and military authorities, sporting and cultural interactions are also planned with ROK Navy.”

A deck reception for the delegates of ADMM-Plus (the Asean Defence Ministers’ Meeting-Plus) and dignitaries of the ROK Navy is also planned onboard INS Kolkata on Tuesday.

The Indian ships have arrived at Busan on successful completion of International Fleet review at China’s Qingdao.

On departing Busan on Wednesday, the Indian ships are scheduled to undertake Maritime Security Exercise with the participating navies and, later, to sail to Singapore to participate in the International Maritime Defence Expo IMDEX-19 and the Singapore-India Maritime Bilateral Exercise, SIMBEX-19.

The ADMM-Plus is a platform for ASEAN and its eight dialogue partners to strengthen security and defence cooperation for peace, stability and development in the region.

The ADMM-Plus countries include ten ASEAN Member States and eight other countries, namely Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, Russia and the United States.

–IANS

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