US, South Korea, Japan stage missile-defense drills amid N. Korea threat
SEOUL, South Korea — The United States, South Korea and Japan kicked off naval missile-defense drills Friday, joining forces to counter the growing threat from North Korea.
The three-day exercise began amid fears that the North may test-fire an intercontinental ballistic missile or stage another provocation in connection with Donald Trump’s inauguration ceremony on Friday.
The Yokosuka, Japan-based guided-missile destroyer USS Stethem, Japan’s JDS Kirishima and South Korea’s Sejong the Great participated in missile detection and tracking drills in the waters off the divided peninsula and Japan.
No missiles were fired as the Aegis-equipped ships faced simulated targets in waters within the 7th Fleet area of operations, said Lt. Josh Kelsey, a U.S. Naval Forces Korea spokesman.
“The U.S. Navy continually seeks every occasion to strengthen relationships and interoperability with participating allies and partners while further developing maritime capabilities and capacity,” he said in a statement.
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