US, South Korea Conduct Anti-Submarine Exercise
The United States and South Korea have kicked off a major anti-submarine drill, weeks after North Korea claimed it had successfully tested a submarine-launched ballistic missile.
The South's Defense Ministry released a statement Monday, calling the drill "the largest joint anti-submarine exercise the allies have ever staged, in terms of its scale and number of vessels involved."
The exercise, which will run through Wednesday in waters off the southern resort island of Jeju, involves more than 10 vessels, including a South Korean Aegis destroyer, as well as submarines surveillance planes and helicopters.
The drills come amid growing concern about the expansion of the North's nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs.
US Pledges $18 Million for Vietnam to buy Patrol Boats
U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter has pledged $18 million to help Vietnam buy American-made coast guard patrol boats to improve its maritime defense capabilities.
Carter is in the communist state to boost military ties. As part of that effort, he and his Vietnamese counterpart signed a "vision statement" Monday to guide the expansion of bilateral cooperation.
At a naval base in Haiphong, Carter toured a patrol boat that had been rammed and damaged by a Chinese ship during a confrontation last year in waters claimed by Vietnam in the South China Sea.
At the beginning of his 11-day tour of the Asia-Pacific region, Carter called for a halt to land reclamation by all countries who claim territory in the South China Sea. He said the United States opposes militarization and the creation of tensions in the region.