Japan, U.S., ROK to conduct missile drills during RIMPAC exercise

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
A type 12 surface-to-ship missile is launched during a Japanese Self-Defense Force and U.S. military joint drill for a RIMPAC exercise in Hawaii in July 2018.

SEOUL/WASHINGTON — Drills planned by Japan, South Korea and the United States to detect and track ballistic missiles will be conducted in conjunction with the U.S. Navy-led Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise slated to start later this month, a South Korean Defense Ministry spokesperson announced Tuesday.

The drills are designed to deal with North Korean missiles and strengthen security cooperation among the three nations.

According to South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency, the exercises are slated to be held from Aug. 1 to Aug. 14 and might involve Australian and Canadian naval forces.

The plan was agreed on at a three-way meeting of Japanese, South Korean and U.S. defense ministers in Singapore on Saturday.

It is expected that mock missiles will be launched and Aegis and other vessels from the three nations will track them and exchange information.

RIMPAC is held biennially, and this year’s exercise is scheduled for June 29 to Aug. 8 off the coast of Hawaii, among other locations.

Courtesy of the Defense Ministry
From left, Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and South Korean Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup pose for a photo before three-way talks in Singapore on Saturday.