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S. Korean Marines take part in landing drill in Thailand

South Korean Marine Corps soldiers took part in a major landing drill as part of a multinational exercise in Thailand Friday, officials said.

Marine officials said 115 Marines, along with eight amphibious assault vehicles, participated in the drill during the Cobra Gold exercise, along with dozens of troops from the U.S. and Thailand.

The exercise will wrap up on Feb. 17.

The South Korean troops simulated maritime and aerial attacks, officials said. The drill also involved a 2,600-ton South Korean amphibious landing craft. It was joined by air-cushioned landing craft, amphibious assault vehicles and landing helicopter dock ships, officials added.

“This landing exercise helped us improve joint operations capabilities among allies,” said Lt. Col. Choi Min-oh, the head of the South Korean delegation. “It also served as a chance for us to demonstrate our ability to execute amphibious operations.”

Cobra Gold began in 1981 under the leadership of the U.S. Pacific Command and the Royal Thai Armed Forces, helping forces develop skills to terminate armed conflicts and stabilize war-ravaged countries.

South Korea was an observer from 2002 to 2009. In 2010, it sent about 300 Marines and several armored landing vehicles, and about 50 Marines joined Cobra Gold last year. (Yonhap News)
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