Missing MH370: South Korea, Japan and India join search for missing plane

PETALING JAYA - South Korea has joined in the search for the missing flight MH370, bringing the total number of countries involved to 14.

South Korean Ambassador to Malaysia Cho Byung-jae said two aircraft - a P-3 and a C-130 - of the country's air force with 39 supporting personnel would be deployed today.

Cho said Wisma Putra was informed of the decision yesterday.

Japan is adding further assets in its quest to expand the search area for MH370.

The Japanese Embassy, in a statement, added that two P-3C Orion patrol craft from Japan's Maritime Self-Defence Force would commence search operations today.

"Two C-130 transport aircraft from the Air Self-Defence Force are currently on search operations as part of the Japan Disaster Relief Team," the statement added.

Both aircraft were joined by a Japan Coast Guard Gulfstream V aircraft which started its search operations yesterday.

Meanwhile, hundreds of islands by the Andaman Sea will be searched by Indian aircraft, as five ships have been deployed in the hunt for the missing aircraft.

The Wall Street Journal wrote that the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, which come under Indian jurisdiction, were being searched by aircraft from yesterday morning.

Indian tri-service command spokesman Col Harmit Singh said that only 37 of the stretch's 572 islands were inhabited, with the rest being dense tropical jungle and that Malaysia had not directly asked them to search them.

No airstrips were on these uninhabited islands, he said, adding that they would search using heat-seeking devices.

He said that an air search over the Bay of Bengal was likely to commence.

The Times of India also reported that five vessels, namely INS Kumbhir, INS Kesari, offshore patrol vessel INS Sarayu and two Coast Guard fast patrol vessels, were sent to search an area covering 35,000 sq km south of the Andaman Sea.

India's Air Force also dispatched five planes including C-130J Super Hercules and P-8i long-range reconnaissance aircraft to look for the missing plane.