South Korea-US-Japan Hold Missile Defense Exercises Against North Korea. PHOTO/Reuters
SEOUL – South Korea (South Korea), the United States (US), and Japan held defensive training the Navy’s missile joint venture Monday (17/4/2023) as they push for greater security cooperation to counter North Korea’s growing missile threat.
The announcement came days after the three countries agreed at their trilateral talks in Washington to conduct regular missile defense and anti-submarine exercises as part of efforts to enhance diplomatic and military cooperation.
As Reuters reports, the drills will be held in international waters between Korea and Japan, bringing together South Korea’s 7,600-tonne Aegis destroyer Yulgok Yi I, US guided missile destroyer USS Benfold, and Japanese destroyer Atago, which is also equipped with the Aegis radar system.
“The three countries will focus on mastering response procedures from detection to tracking to information sharing by creating virtual targets under the North Korean ballistic missile provocation scenario,” the South Korean Navy said.
“This is an opportunity to strengthen trilateral security cooperation against North Korea’s increasing nuclear and missile threats, and strengthen our naval capabilities and posture to respond to ballistic missiles,” Captain Kim Ki-young of the South Korean destroyer said in a statement.
Tensions have soared in recent weeks as North Korea ramped up military activity, testing a new solid-fuel intercontinental ballistic missile on Friday that experts said would facilitate a missile launch with little warning.
Pyongyang has threatened “more practical and offensive” action as South Korean and US troops have been conducting their annual spring drills since March, some of which involve Japan, calling them drills for nuclear war.
The South Korean and US air forces are separately set to start their drills on Monday for 12 days.