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    RUSSIAN WARSHIPS COMPLETING THEIR SOUTH KOREAN VISIT

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    VLADIVOSTOK, FEBRUARY 14, 2004, /RIA-NOVOSTI CORRESPONDENT ANATOLY ILYUKHOV/ -- A warship unit of the Russian Navy's Pacific fleet is to complete its four-day friendly visit to Inchon, South Korea, today. (Inchon was formerly called Chemulpo - Ed.) The unit comprises the Varyag Guards guided-missile cruiser, the Admiral Tributs capital ASW (Anti-Submarine Warfare) ship and the Koreets small ASW ship.

    Talking to RIA-NOVOSTI here today, people at the Pacific fleet's press center noted that a joint Russian - South naval exercise will take place after the visit; the sides are to test their communications networks, also maneuvering their ships and conducting simulated high-seas search-and-rescue operations.

    The Russian warship unit is commanded by Admiral Victor Fedorov in charge of the Pacific fleet. Its official friendly visit is timed to coincide with the 100-the anniversary of the sinking of Russia's Varyag cruiser and Koreets gunboat, which were scuttled, after engaging far superior Japanese forces in battle at the start of the 1904-1905 Russian-Japanese war.

    Russian sailors took part in unveiling a memorial plaque on the wall of a former Red Cross hospital where injured Varyag crew members were treated.

    Moreover, a monument to Varyag's heroic crew was opened in an impressive setting; that ceremony was attended by Inchon residents and Russian sailors, as well.

    Russian warships are to fire their artillery guns in line with mission plans, also launching missiles enroute to Vladivostok, which is the Pacific fleet's main base.

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