Korean Navy training group in PH to mark armistice anniversary

By Joyce Ann L. Rocamora

December 27, 2023, 2:30 pm

MANILA – Two Korean Navy vessels carrying more than 400 sailors made a port call in Manila as part of its 7th circumnavigation to mark the 70th anniversary of the Korean War Armistice agreement.

The Korean Navy cruise training task group (CTTG), composed of helicopter training ship ROKS Hansando and combat support ship ROKS Hwacheon, berthed at the Manila South Harbor on Dec. 27.

CTTG Commander RDML Choong-ho Cho said the visit marks the 70th Korean War ceasefire by promoting maritime security and the shared universal values of freedom and peace.

The visit, he said, also aims to “enhance friendship and military diplomacy” with the country.

At least 22 states supported South Korea when the Korean War broke out, including Manila that sent a total of 7,420 Filipino soldiers under the Philippine Expeditionary Force to Korea (PEFTOK).

When the Korean Armistice Agreement was signed in July 1953, the hostilities that killed millions of civilians were suspended and the 241-kilometer long demilitarized zone (DMZ) was formed.

The Korean Embassy in Manila said the training group will be holding a series of activities during its seven-day port call until Jan. 2.

The Korean Navy group will visit the Korean War memorial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani for a wreath laying ceremony.

It will also organize a Defense Industry Exhibition on board ROKS Hwacheon and host Philippine Navy officers to showcase Korea’s Navy Sea GHOST or Guardian Harmonized with Operating manned Systems and Technology-based unmanned system.

The training group will also hold a passing exercise with the BRP Jose Rizal of the Philippine Navy to refortify the relationship between the two Navies, it said.

The CTTG is currently on its 7th circumnavigation and is traveling around 30,000 nautical miles with 460 sailors, including approximately 150 midshipmen from the 78th class of ROKNA onboard.

The embassy said the Manila port call is the 28th of its kind to the country, the highest recorded for Korean Navy port calls made in any Asian country. (PNA)