​South Korea’s destroyer visits central Vietnam

The event is deemed to foster strategic cooperation between Vietnam and one of Asia’s leading economies

ROKS Moon Mu the Great is seen in this photo illustration.

A naval destroyer of South Korea arrived at Vietnam’s central metropolis of Da Nang on Tuesday morning, commencing a four-day visit aimed at strengthening the nations’ strategic ties.

The multipurpose destroyer, ROKS Moon Mu the Great, is docking at the city’s Tien Sa Port and is scheduled to leave Vietnam on September 14.

The ship’s 302 crew members and their captain Doh Jin Woo will meet officials from the municipal government and the High Command of Naval Region 3, a naval body that monitors waters along central Vietnam.

The High Command and the vessel’s personnel will conduct joint training in team formation and communication – which can be seen as a symbolic gesture for greater military cooperation between Hanoi and Seoul.

Vietnamese officials and officers and sailors from ROKS Moon Mu the Great pose for pictures at central Vietnamese Da Nang City, September 11, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Vietnamese officials and officers and sailors from ROKS Moon Mu the Great pose for pictures in Da Nang City, September 11, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre

This is the second time a South Korean naval ship has made a port call in Da Nang, following the September 2017 visit by the Roks Kang Gam Chan and the Roks Hwacheon.

ROKS Moon Mu the Great, commissioned in 2004, is around 150 meters long and can travel at 56 kilometers per hour.

It is equipped with an advanced naval radar system and various armaments like cruise missiles, torpedoes and surface-to-air missiles.

Vietnam established a diplomatic relationship with South Korea in 1992.

In October 2009 the relationship evolved into strategic partnership and since early this year South Korea has considered Vietnam as crucial in its ‘New Southern Policy,’ an effort to extend its sphere of influence in Southeast Asia.

South Korea is Vietnam’s second-largest partner in trade and provision of official development assistance, and also its second-largest source of tourists, said a Vietnamese official.

Bilateral trade between the two countries was worth US$61.5 billion in 2017, according to figures released by the General Department of Vietnam Customs.

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