Seoul, Tokyo to Resume Joint Naval Drills in July

      June 29, 2016 10:27

      Korea and Japan will resume naval cooperation for the first time in four years next month. Naval patrol aircraft from the two countries will practice searching for and tracking North Korean submarines and conduct their first friendship flight.

      The drill will be held at Atsugi air base in Japan from July 4 to 7, a Navy spokesman here said Tuesday.

      The two countries are boosting military cooperation amid mounting threats of North Korean nuclear weapons and missiles.

      The drills, which started in 2010, took place only three times before they were suspended as relations between the two allies soured.

      But in May last year Seoul and Tokyo agreed to restore cooperation and seek ways to respond jointly to nuclear and missile threats from the North.

      For the friendship flight, a P-3C airplane each country will fly together over the air base for two to three hours.

      The P-3C aircraft play a key role in searching for and tracking North Korean submarines. The South Korean Navy has 16 and the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force 69, the biggest fleet after the U.S.

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