Vietnam did not join Cobra Gold exercise: defense ministry

TN News

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Vietnam did not send military officers to join the Cobra Gold military exercise being held in Thailand, nor did it have observers attend the drill, the Ministry of Defense said Thursday.

The ministry's announcement came after some local and foreign newspapers reported that Vietnam had sent three army personnel to take part in the annual joint military exercise, the biggest in Southeast Asia.

The Vietnam News Agency quoted Nguyen Thanh Tuan, head of Department of Propaganda and Training under the ministry, as saying that Vietnam's policy is "not to join any joint military actions."

Cobra Gold 2011, the 30th of its kind, officially kicked off on Monday in Thailand's northeastern province of Chiang Mai.

Besides hosts US and Thailand, Indonesia, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia and Singapore are participating in the exercise.

The exercise is being observed by military teams from China, India, Sri Lanka, Laos, Brunei, Russia, Mongolia, South Africa, United Arab Emirates and New Zealand. The event will conclude on February 18.

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