1st S.Korea-Led Anti-Proliferation Drill Starts Next Week


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The first multinational Proliferation Security Initiative exercise led by South Korea will be staged in waters off Busan on Oct. 13-14 as a response to North Korea's torpedo attack on the Navy corvette Cheonan in March.

Fourteen other countries including the U.S., Japan, Australia, Canada and France will participate in the drill dubbed "Eastern Endeavor 10." It will consist of a maritime interdiction exercise and a seminar bringing together experts in foreign affairs, intelligence, law enforcement, customs affairs, export control, finance and maritime law to discuss the decision-making process in the U.S.-led initiative, the Defense Ministry said on Wednesday.

South Korea will deploy two 4,500-ton KDX-II destroyers and two landing ship tanks, while the U.S. will send a 9,000-ton Aegis ship, Japan a 4,000-ton destroyer, and Australia a P-3C maritime patrol plane.

A Defense Ministry official said the exercise is an opportunity "to display at home and abroad our national efforts and will to prevent proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, thereby fulfilling our duties as a full member of PSI and enhancing the status of the country as a responsible member of the international community."

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