Japan, U.S., S. Korea Conduct Joint Naval Drill

Reuters file photos
National flags of South Korea , USA and Japan

SEOUL (Jiji Press) — Japan, South Korea and the United States conducted a trilateral naval drill on the high seas south of South Korea’s Jeju Island for three days to Wednesday, the South Korean military said.

The exercise, which followed Sunday’s ballistic missile launch by North Korea, brought together nine ships including the U.S. Navy’s nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson, the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force’s Kongo Aegis ship and Hyuga destroyer, and South Korea’s Aegis destroyer Sejong the Great.

Participants practiced operations related to response capabilities against North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats and to blocking the maritime transportation of weapons of mass destruction.

Last month, the defense authorities of the three countries said they had drawn up multiyear plans for joint exercises. The latest drill is the first maritime exercise held under the plans.