South Korea keen on joint drill with Brunei
SOUTH Korea wants to conduct bilateral military exercises with Brunei in a bid to bolster defence cooperation between the two countries.
Commander Bae Jinseok, executive officer of the ROKS Choi Young, said yesterday military exercises will enable both nations to enhance bilateral relations by addressing shared security concerns such as global threats from terrorism, piracy and other maritime crimes.
“If we have the opportunity, we would like to do bilateral exercises with Brunei. That would be good for our countries,” Commander Bae Jinseok said.
The proposed exercises, the South Korean naval commander explained, will be mutually beneficial as South Korea is willing to share its experience in anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden, while the sultanate can demonstrate how it protects its natural resources.
“Brunei is an important country in Southeast Asia, because its location is on a very strategic point,” he added.
Commander Bae said South Korea deployed its ROKS Choi Young destroyer for the first time to participate in the ongoing ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM) Plus Maritime Security and Counter-Terrorism Exercise as the region is crucial to upholding freedom of navigation.
“This exercise is very meaningful, because Southeast Asia is an important region to us. We use many routes in this area, so we have to protect our merchant ships and people,” he said.
South Korea is among the 18 nations joining the multilateral exercise scheduled for May 2 to 12 in Singapore and Brunei. The exercise will involve an estimated 3,000 personnel, 18 ships, 17 helicopters, two maritime patrol aircraft and special forces.
A luncheon was also hosted onboard the ROKS Choi Young yesterday for South Korean Ambassador to the sultanate Cho Won-Myung.
Officers and crew of the ROKS Choi Young will be welcoming the public to visit onboard the ship today and tomorrow from 2pm to 4pm at Muara Port, where the ship will be docked throughout its visit to Brunei.
The Brunei Times