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South Korean military launches “East Sea Territory Protection Ex...

Joined by Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard 
Formerly known as ‘Dokdo Defense,’ it has been renamed and doubled in size  
Sejong the Great destroyer and Army’s special forces participate for the first time

On August 25, the South Korean military launched a three-dimensional exercise to defend the country’s territories in the East Sea, including Dokdo. The Navy announced on Sunday that the military will carry out the “East Sea Territory Protection Exercise” on August 25 and 26 by mobilizing ten vessels from the Navy and the Coast Guard, including the Sejong the Great destroyer (DDG-991), ten warplanes from the Army, the Navy, and the Air Force, and troops from the Army and the Marine Corps. “The exercise has been given the name “East Sea Territory Protection Exercise” in consideration of its significance and its scale. Our aim is to further consolidate the determination to defend our territories in the East Sea, including Dokdo,” a Navy spokesperson said. 

With an enlarged scope and size, it is considered that the exercise reflects the military’s determination to defend South Korean territories in the East Sea, including Dokdo and Ulleungdo. 

The Navy’s Aegis-equipped destroyer, Sejong the Great, and the Army’s special forces from the Special Warfare Command were mobilized for the first time. Sejong the Great is South Korea’s first Aegis-equipped destroyer, which was put into commission in December 2008. With its Aegis combat system based on the “SPY-1D” radar, the destroyer is capable of detecting air targets such as guided missiles and planes up to 1000 kilometers away. Sejong the Great is also capable of simultaneously detecting and tracking some 1000 targets, and can attack 20 targets at once. The exercise is also being supported with the participation of aerial forces, including the Air Force’s F-15K fighter, the Navy’s P-3 patrol plane, and the Army’s CH-47 Chinook cargo helicopter. 

“This exercise is a regular exercise to guard our territory, and at the same time, it is a joint exercise among the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard, with a view to mobilization of all available forces and troops. Considering that the exercise is aimed at all territories in East Sea, the scale of the exercise, including troops and forces taking part in the exercise, is about two times that of the previous year,” a Navy official said. “This exercise is meant to protect all our territories in East Sea, including Ulleungdo and Dokdo. It is not aimed at any specific countries or forces, but to protect our sovereignty, territories, people, and assets from threats or intrusion from all forces,” he added. 

Meanwhile, South Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs responded to the Japanese government’s claim that the exercise should be halted. “It is obvious that Dokdo is historically, geographically, and by international law, part of our territory. We will continue to sternly respond to Japan’s outrageous assertions regarding Dokdo,” the ministry said. 


During a press briefing, which was held at the Chunchu-gwan, Chung Wa Dae spokesperson Ko Min-jung also said that the exercise is not aimed at any specific countries, but is being carried out to put South Korea in a position to better fend off potential threats from all forces, to guard our territory and sovereignty.

 

By Su-Yeol, Maeng <guns13@dema.mil.kr >

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East Sea Territory Protection Exercise
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