S.Korea, U.S., Japan to stage anti-submarine drills amid N.Korea tension

  • World
  • Friday, 30 Sep 2022

FILE PHOTO: The South Korean and American flags fly next to each other at Yongin, South Korea, August 23, 2016. Picture taken on August 23, 2016. Courtesy Ken Scar/U.S. Army/Handout via REUTERS

SEOUL (Reuters) - The naval forces of South Korea, the United States and Japan will stage their major trilateral anti-submarine exercises for the first time in five years on Friday, amid tension over North Korea's recent series of missile tests.

The drills will be held in international waters off the Korean peninsula's east coast, just a day after North Korea fired two ballistic missiles toward its east coast and U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris visited Seoul and the heavily fortified border between the two Koreas.

"The exercises are designed to improve their capability to respond to increasing North Korean submarine threats, including its submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBM) at a time when it consistently poses nuclear and missile threats with a series of ballistic missile tests," the South Korean navy said in a statement.

The one-day drills are a flagship maritime training that has not been conducted since 2017 because the former progressive South Korean government sought to improve inter-Korean relations and facilitate denuclearsation talks between Pyongyang and Washington, which have stalled since 2019.

Under the programme, the three countries' navies will track down a mock North Korean submarine while exchanging information with each other, a South Korean military official said.

The exercises will bring together the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier, the 9,800-ton guided missile cruiser USS Chancellorsville, the 6,900-ton Aegis-equipped destroyer USS Barry, South Korea's 4,400-ton destroyer Munmu the Great and Japan's 5,100-ton tanker Asahi, among other warships, the South Korean navy said.

The drills came days after a U.S.-based think tank said North Korea may be preparing to launch a new submarine believed to be capable of firing ballistic missiles, citing commercial satellite imagery.

South Korea's military has also detected signs that the isolated country might be gearing up for an SLBM test, Yonhap news agency reported on Saturday.

(Reporting by Hyonhee Shin; Editing by Jamie Freed)

Article type: free
User access status:
Subscribe now to our Premium Plan for an ad-free and unlimited reading experience!

Next In World

French YouTube star ‘Norman’ questioned over rape charges
Fuel runs short at South Korean petrol stations as union plans general strike alongside truckers
Russia deploys defence missile system on Kuril island near Japan
North Korea fires more artillery shells into sea in response to South Korea drills - KCNA
Human Rights Watch warns against Mexico's 'regressive' electoral overhaul
Half of Kyiv's region to remain without power for days - governor
U.S. expands deportation relief to some 264,000 Haitians
Ex-U.S. lawmaker arrested for conspiring to act as agent of Venezuela
Australia delays energy price talks after PM contracts COVID
U.S.-listed Chinese firms trade flat

Others Also Read