The South Korean Navy will, for the first time, participate in an annual multinational exercise to be carried out in Thailand in February 2010.

As part of the exercise codenamed Cobra Gold (CG), the South Korean Navy will send a total of 333 troops, including 187 marines.

The US Pacific Command-led CG exercise is designed for multinational troops dispatched by the UN to develop their armed conflict skills and help them understand how to stabilise dispute-ridden countries.

During the exercise South Korea will focus on peacekeeping operations including disaster control, according to local officials.

Six nations are participating in the CG exercise including the US, Japan and Singapore, which will also deploy an amphibious vessel and several armoured landing vehicles.

A total of nine countries including the UK, Canada, India and Mongolia will attend the forthcoming exercise as observers.