SEOUL — South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff office would not confirm local news reports stating South Korea will fly unmanned spy aircraft along its western sea border.

Yonhap News quoted anonymous military sources in a Monday report that stated the flights would monitor the northern limit line — an extension of the Demilitarized Zone that separates North and South Korea — during the May-June crab-catching season in the Yellow Sea.

The crab season has been the source of armed conflicts between South Korea and its communist northern neighbor, according to the report.

Japan to join Cobra Gold exercise

The Japan Defense Agency plans to send 25 of its members and Self-Defense Forces personnel to this year’s Cobra Gold exercise in Thailand, the agency announced Tuesday. It is the first time JDA and the Self-Defense Forces have sent personnel to take part in the exercise, a news release stated, adding they previously have sent only observers.

The participants will take part in a workshop held May 2-6 and training May 9-13. The exercise, to take place May 2-13, includes personnel from Singapore, Thailand and the United States.

Japan’s law prevents it from participating in collective defense. However, this year’s exercise is focused on international disaster-relief efforts based on earthquakes and the December tsunami disaster.

“The agency has determined that it is valuable to participate,” a JDA spokesman said.

Free dinner for soldiers at Camp Zama

The Association of the United States Army, a national group representing soldiers’ interests, will hold a free buffet dinner at 5:30 p.m. April 28 at the Camp Zama Community Club.

The dinner, for soldiers, is open to AUSA members and nonmembers. Family members and other guests may attend but will be charged.

Retired Lt. Gen. Theodore Stroup, AUSA’s vice president for education, will be the guest speaker.

Contact 1st Lt. Valerie Manuel at DSN 263-5735 or Sgt. 1st Class Jacqueline Chatman at DSN 263-8630 to RSVP by Friday.

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