Chennai: Indian and Korean navies have planned to conduct joint exercises to stress friendship between the nations and military co-ordination, a senior Korean naval official on Saturday said.
"We have planned to conduct joint exercises with two ships of the Indian Navy. Though we are planning to have the exercises on our way out of Chennai, other details on what exercises and when exactly are being chalked out," Rear Admiral Jungsoo Chun, Commander of the Navy Cruise Training Task Group, told reporters here.
Two naval ships of the Republic of Korean Navy -- ROKS Choi Young and ROKS Cheoji and Indian Navy's destroyer INS Rajput and patrol vessel INS Sumitra would take part in the exercises planned next week, he said.
Interacting with journalists on board ROKS Choi Young, he said Korean Navy did not face any difficulty while sailing in the South China Sea from any country.
China and Vietnam have an acrimonious relationship due to their standoff over the South China Sea, a major source of hydrocarbons. Recently, Vietnam had renewed India's lease of two oil blocks in the South China Sea for another year.
Earlier, school children, Korean community living in Chennai and Indian naval officials welcomed ROKS Choi Young and ROKS Cheoji on their port of call here.
Korean Consul General Kim Kyungsoo from the Consulate General of the Republic of Korea in Chennai along with Indian Navy officials and the city elite welcomed the ships and received Rear Admiral Jungsoo Chun.
"India is our seventh port of call and this is also the first time that any Korean naval ship is calling on the port of Chennai," Rear Admiral Chun said.
The ships on their four-day stay here has many plans including official calls, public ship tour and visit to Indian military bases. "We will also have friendly matches with the Indian Navy," he said.
The Task Group is to navigate a total distance of over 20,240 nautical miles in 12 countries, including India, Myanmar and Russia.