The Armed Forces of the United States, Japan and South Korea have launched Thursday a series of joint military exercises in the Sea of Japan, also known as the East Sea, in an attempt to test their ability to react to a possible attack by North Korea, which has carried out numerous ballistic missile launches over the past two weeks.
The maneuvers are taking place in international waters and include the presence of the aircraft carrier ‘US Ronald Reagan’, whose deployment in the area would have triggered the latest North Korean ballistic tests.
In addition, the three countries have deployed destroyers that are also participating in the maneuvers, according to information from the Yonhap news agency. The Japanese, U.S. and South Korean militaries are seeking to recreate a possible missile attack by Pyongyang and are focusing the exercises on missile detection, tracking and interception.
The three countries conducted similar exercises in late September in the region, just after North Korea launched two more ballistic missiles into the Sea of Japan.
On Tuesday, however, North Korean authorities proceeded to launch a medium-range missile that flew over Japanese territory and led the population of the island of Hokkaido to take temporary pre-emptive shelter.
North Korean authorities insist that they are taking the necessary measures to ensure security in connection with “hostile” U.S. actions on the Korean peninsula.