CHENNAI: The South Korean Navy’s first training ship ROKS Hansando, which has defence capabilities, docked at the Chennai Port along with navy logistics vessel ROKS Daecheong to bolster strategic and bilateral ties as Korean families greeted the sailors waving Indian and South Korean flags.
The four-day visit is significant as Hansando, which was commissioned in 2020, is on its maiden visit to Chennai. A Korean Navy official, Captain JJ You, said the visit is strategically important as it would build ties with the Indian Navy. We will have Passex (bilateral passage exercise) with the Indian Navy, he added.
ROKS Daecheong, commissioned in 1997, is a multipurpose fast combat support ship capable of supplying ammunition, fuel, fresh water and other logistic support to combat ships.
JJ You said South Korea is strengthening strategic ties with India. Called Korean Navy Cruise Training Task Group (ROKN CTTG), led by Rear Admiral Kang Dong-goo, 470 Korean Navy personnel, including 164 final-year cadets of the Korean Naval Academy, will be part of the midshipmen training programme to foster their adaptability to real maritime environments.
Of the sailors, 10% are women, said Captain JJ You. This is the 16th time ROKN CTTG is visiting India since its first visit in 1975. During its stay in Chennai, the Korean Navy will be part of various activities. On Thursday, it will take part in the ‘We Love Marina’ campaign and clean the Marina beach.