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Seoul, October 15 (Yonhap) – South Korea and the United States have performed more joint exercises of Marines in 2019 than in previous years, the South Korean Marine Corps said on Tuesday.
This year, the allies conducted 24 rounds of the South Korean Marine Exchange Program (KMEP), compared with 11 in 2018 and 17 in 2017, the agency said in a report submitted to the National Assembly for a audit.
Next year, both sides plan to conduct 22 rounds of KMEP exercises, the source added.The drills are aimed at strengthening the defense of the border islands of northwestern South Korea.
The Marine Corps is also trying to expand its presence in international exercises led by the US.The US, starting next year, sending more Marines to the Pacific Rim exercises (RIMPAC) in Hawaii and Cobra Gold in Thailand.
He also plans to participate in more US-led marines exercises.UU., Like those made in Australia and the Philippines, from 2021, according to the agency.
The Marine Corps commander, Lieutenant General Lee Seung-do, said that by participating in several joint exercises, he may be able to further develop his combined operating system and maximize the ability to carry out missions together.
To better defend the strategic islands and face possible threats, the armed service has conducted drills on the island of Ulleung, in the East Sea, about three times a year.Ulleung Island is approximately 90 kilometers west of the islets of Dokdo, the easternmost in the country.
The Marine Corps said it is trying to create a military unit in Ulleung with medium to long-term prospects.