S.Korea, US & Japan stage trilateral drills for 1st time in 7 years
Trilateral drills focus on strengthening security coordination against North Korean threats
South Korea, the US and Japan have staged a trilateral maritime interdiction exercise for the first time in seven years, amid efforts to strengthen security coordination against North Korean threats, Seoul's Navy said on Tuesday, 10 October.
The two-day exercise, which began on Monday in international waters southeast of the southern resort island of Jeju along with anti-piracy drills, came after the three countries' defence chiefs agreed to resume the trilateral exercises during their meeting in Singapore in June, reports Yonhap News Agency.
The three sides last staged a maritime interdiction exercise, which focuses on intercepting suspected smuggling vessels, in 2016 and an anti-piracy exercise in 2017.
The latest drills mobilized the South's ROKS Yulgok Yi I Aegis-equipped destroyer, the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier, the Aegis-equipped USS Shoup destroyer, and Japan's JS Hyuga helicopter destroyer among other warships, according to the South's Navy.
"The exercise enhanced the South Korea-US-Japan capabilities in deterrence and response against North Korea's recently advancing nuclear and missile threats, and focused on improving trilateral maritime operational capabilities to respond to maritime security threats and establish a rules-based international order," the Navy said in a statement.
Published: 10 Oct 2023, 12:27 PM