S. Korea takes part in multinational drills in Thailand

South Korea's Navy and Marine Corps joined the United States and Thailand in a large-scale annual multinational exercise in the Southeast Asian country to enhance amphibious landing capabilities and humanitarian operations, officials said Saturday. The Cobra Gold exercise took place on a coastal area in Thailand on Friday, involving three landing ships of the South Korean Navy, including the 4,900-ton No Jeok Bong vessel, six armored vehicles, F-16 fighter jets and C-130 transport aircraft, officials said. The Cobra Gold exercise is running from Feb. 26 to March 8 and is also joined by Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Japan. The multinational troops were set to stage various field maneuvers, including amphibious landing operations, special jungle warfare drills, and underwater construction training. They were also expected to conduct cyberdefense drills, joined virtually by troops at the Navy's cyber operations center. The exercise also involves humanitarian support training, which will be joined by C hina and India. Launched in 1982, Cobra Gold focuses on training multinational forces for a range of procedures to stabilize a region embroiled in a virtual armed conflict. South Korea first joined the exercise as a full participant in 2010. Source: Yonhap News Agency