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Navy chief to visit US for defense diplomacy

Members of a South Korean fleet salute during a ceremony at a naval base on the southern island of Jeju before they depart for Hawaii to join the Rim of the Pacific Exercise, in this May 31, 2022, file photo provided by the Navy. (Navy)
Members of a South Korean fleet salute during a ceremony at a naval base on the southern island of Jeju before they depart for Hawaii to join the Rim of the Pacific Exercise, in this May 31, 2022, file photo provided by the Navy. (Navy)

South Korea's Navy chief is set to depart for the United States to discuss military cooperation and exchanges, the Navy said Sunday.

Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Lee Jong-ho will make a weeklong visit to Hawaii and Washington, D.C., during which he is scheduled to meet with Carlos del Toro, secretary of the US Navy, and John Aquilino, commander of the US Indo-Pacific Command, as well as other senior military officials, it said.

The two sides plan to discuss how to bolster military cooperation and ocean security, the Navy added.

Currently, a Korean fleet of warships, maritime aircraft and around 1,000 troops is joining a US-led multinational maritime exercise, called the Rim of the Pacific Exercise.

The Korean fleet includes the 14,500-ton Marado amphibious landing ship. Lee will visit the ship in Hawaii and be briefed on the achievements of the exercise, the Navy said.

On Thursday, Lee plans to deliver a keynote speech at an Indo-Pacific security conference in Hawaii.

Lee will visit Washington on Friday and meet with Carlos del Toro, the Navy said. (Yonhap)

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