New Delhi: South Korea has expressed interest in joining the coordinated patrolling done by warships of India, China and Japan in the Gulf of Aden for escorting merchant vessels safely through the region.
The navies of India, China and Japan started coordinated patrols for anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden starting from January 1.
South Korea has shown interest in joining the coordinated patrols with the three countries with one of its warships deployed in the Gulf of Aden, sources said here.
In the coordinated patrols, one of the navies is designated as "Reference Navy" for a period of three months, which first proposes its escort schedule for a similar time period.
The other navies then decide their escort schedules with the dates of Reference Navy and the latter is rotated every three months in alphabetical orders.
India has deployed its Guided Missile Frigate INS Tabar in the Gulf of Aden where it has been deploying at least one warship since 2008 when the incidents of piracy started increasing at an alarming rate.
China and Japan have been maintaining two to three warships which sometimes includes fleet replenishment tankers also there in the region.
India, along with other major powers including Russia and China, has not joined any multinational grouping such as the CTF-151 or the EUNAVFOR (European Union Naval Force) and has insisted on UN-led efforts for tackling the pirates.