South Korea, US, Japan to hold missile defence drills to counter North Korea

SEOUL: South Korea, the United States and Japan will stage joint naval missile defence exercises on Monday (Apr 17) as they push for greater security cooperation to better counter North Korea’s evolving missile threats, Seoul’s navy said.

The announcement came days after the three countries agreed at their trilateral talks in Washington to conduct regular missile defence and anti-submarine exercises as part of efforts to scale up diplomatic and military cooperation.

Monday’s 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 Japan’s Atago destroyer, also equipped with Aegis radar systems.

The three countries would focus on mastering response procedures from detection to tracking to information sharing by creating a virtual target under the scenario of a North Korean ballistic missile provocation, the South Korean navy said.

“It is an opportunity to strengthen trilateral security cooperation against North Korea’s escalating nuclear and missile threats, and solidify our navy’s capability and posture to respond to ballistic missiles,” Captain Kim Ki-young of the South Korean destroyer said in a statement.


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