South Korea, U.S. to stage drills with aircraft carrier after North Korean missile launches


FILE PHOTO: U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan is anchored at a port in Busan, South Korea, September 23, 2022. REUTERS/Daewoung Kim/File Photo

SEOUL (Reuters) -South Korea and the United States began joint maritime exercises with a U.S. aircraft carrier on Friday, South Korea's military said, a day after it scrambled fighter jets in reaction to an apparent North Korean bombing drill.

The maritime drills will take place in waters off South Korea's east coast on Oct. 7-8, South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said. The drills come after North Korea launched a pair of ballistic missiles into the sea on Thursday, and later flew warplanes near the border with the South.

"We will continue to strengthen our operational capabilities and readiness to respond to any provocations by North Korea through joint drills with ... the USS Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group," South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said.

The U.S. strike group already participated in trilateral missile defense exercises with warships from Japan and South Korea this week, prompted by a test on Tuesday in which North Korea launched a ballistic missile that overflew part of Japan.

(Reporting by Joori Roh; Editing by Edmund Klamann and Gerry Doyle)

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